Posted by BrianBoru at 6/26/2009 12:50 AM EDT
Since there has been a helluva lot more bad news than good news since Lou Holtz was fired, er...left Notre Dame, let's just get the bad news out of the way first...
Notre Dame head football coach Charlie Weis announced that sophomore tight end Joseph Fauria will not be enrolled at Notre Dame this season due to "personal reasons".
Although tight end is perhaps Notre Dame's deepest position, losing Fauria is a huge blow. At 6'7" 245 pounds, he could help pave holes in the running game as well as provide an inviting target for Clausen and the aerial show. As it stands, the Irish will have to make do with the freakishly talented Kyle Rudolph and injury prone Mike Ragone as their top two tight ends. Word is incoming freshman tight end Tyler Eifert has already made quite an impression on the ND coaching staff and could see early playing time this season.
In other bad news, Notre Dame's highest-rated recruit in the 2010 class, defensive end Chris Martin, has announced that he is going to take a couple of recruiting visits. Martin is a player Notre Dame needs. He's a speed rusher off the edge, and though the Irish have a few promising defensive linemen, you can never have enough athletes on defense, particularly at defensive end.
I saw a bit of Martin's tape from the Southern Cal camp last year — wow.
Now, the good news — defensive end Blake Leuders offered his verbal commitment to Notre Dame, choosing the Fighting Irish over a host of schools which include: Stanford, Boston College, Virginia Tech, Iowa and Northwestern.
Haven't seen film of this kid yet. But I am hearing and reading good things. Of course, I would have certainly liked to have seen a few powerhouse programs represented on his list of scholarship offers. When you read about Notre Dame going head-to-head with Southern Cal, beating them for a top player — that's when you know that Notre Dame is back.
Saving the best news for last, Notre Dame received a pledge from blue chip quarterback Andrew Hendrix, out of Cincinnati. Hendrix boasted an impressive offer sheet, rejecting offers from Ohio State, Tennessee and Miami among others.
The kid I wanted to see ND get, of course, was Nick Montana, son of legendary Notre Dame and NFL great Joe Montana. But this is not a bad consolation prize. In fact, in many recruiting circles, Hendrix is rated slightly ahead of Montana.
At any rate, the fate of recruiting will be dictated by the outcome of the 2009 football campaign.