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Why ND Will Excel at Recruiting

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Why Notre Dame Will Excel at Recruiting

Four Super Bowl Rings Will Help Recruiting


By Brian Smith

Date: Jun 29, 2005


The Notre Dame football program has a lot to sell just from a tradition and academic standpoint. But landing the best prep recruits usually means selling the NFL and winning championships. That is not going to be hard for coach Weis and his assistant coaching staff. From top to bottom, this coaching staff is going to be able to recruit at a high level every year.


Amongst many clichés that could be used to open this article, the best one that comes to mind is “if you build it they will come.”


And that is so true with any given college football program.


Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis is just beginning to rebuild the Notre Dame football program after years of inconsistency. Despite some media members and rival fans saying Notre Dame is a has-been, there are many reasons why coach Weis will bring Notre Dame back to the top.


First, any man that has coached on four Super Bowl championship teams knows the game of football at its highest level. Say hello to coach Weis. He has been blessed to be around coaches such as Bill Parcels, Bill Belichick and Romeo Crennel just to name a few.


Coach Weis is known for his offensive prowess from calling plays to being an excellent game planner; and everyone probably now knows by now that he is well respected within the coaching community for his ability to make adjustments not at halftime, but during the first quarter itself. There are many aspects that coach Weis is well-known for, but those three that are probably the most well known.


The one area that coach Weis has been vastly underrated to date is his ability to hire an assistant coaching staff. If you don’t believe it to be true, simply go to http://und.collegesports.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/nd-m-footbl-mtt.html#coaches and check out the coaching biographies of the assistant coaching staff. Then, go to any other school in the country and do the same and compare.


It’s not even close. Whatever it was that coach Weis said to each of these coaches persuaded them to South Bend. The man knows how to sell and he hired a fantastic coaching staff around him.


Again, this is going to be a big selling point for coach Weis. Without even looking it up it is a good bet that Notre Dame is the only school in the country that has two assistant coaches in Bill Lewis – Defensive Backs and Rick Minter – Linebackers and Defensive Coordinator that are former college head coaches. Lewis was National Coach of the Year as the head coach at East Carolina and also was the head coach at Georgia Tech, while Minter was the head coach at Cincinnati. You do not sign that type of coaching talent to your staff without being a top-notch head coach yourself.


And let us not forget that quarterback coach Peter Vaas just left a head coaching job with Cologne in NFL Europe to be a quarterback coach under coach Weis. How many coaches would do that? Few, very few.


Selling is obviously a big part of recruiting. There is a tremendous amount of competition throughout the country for the nation’s premiere high school football recruits. If a coach cannot sell, he will be out of a job really soon.


Even with all of the Notre Dame football tradition, the 99.2% graduation rate for football players that stay in the program four years (not five, that’s right, Notre Dame graduates its players in four years and basis its graduation on that length of time), and the incredible alumni connections after earning a Notre Dame degree, football recruits want to win and go to the NFL, period.


Who can blame the recruits that want to make millions of dollars in the NFL? Notre Dame will have a huge recruiting advantage over other programs because no other school has as much to sell from an overall coaching standpoint than Notre Dame. Recruits are going to pay attention to that.


And obviously recruits have already begun to take notice because coach Weis and his assistant coaching staff have already secured eight commitments. And it’s only June 29…


That is not really surprising to me simply because there are several excellent recruiters amongst the assistant coaching staff. Not good recruiters, excellent recruiters – there is a big difference.


Having recruits such as tailbacks James Aldridge and Munir Prince, defensive end Kallen Wade, quarterback Zack Frazer and tight end Paddy Mullen already in the fold is a luxury few programs have. Notre Dame has those same recruits in the fold due to the coaching staff. Recruits choose a school as much for the coaching staff as anything else. It helps establish a comfort level for the recruit with Notre Dame. Without that comfort level, Notre Dame would be dead in the water.

Having several highly rated recruits already in the fold will lead to other recruits saying “hey, I want to be a part of that.” It is the proverbial snowball effect. The energy combined by the entire Notre Dame coaching staff is the accelerator that started rolling the snowball down hill. And that did not just happen overnight. This recruiting class started to take shape back in January when the coaching staff was brought together for the first time under coach Weis. Junior recruiting is a big part of the game of college football. And junior recruiting is well under way for the Class of 2007 … remember that when Notre Dame comes sprinting out the starting gate next February and March.


Recruiting coordinator and wide receiver coach Rob Ianello came to Notre Dame from Wisconsin with the reputation as one of the nation’s premiere recruiters. He has more than earned his stripes to date. While he leads the charge as the recruiting coordinator every coach on the staff has done well to date in some capacity.


Coach Lewis is already proving to be one of the best recruiters in the Southeast with his strong ties to North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida that will pay off not only this year but for years to come. And who honestly thought that a long time NFL assistant with the Miami Dolphins was going to be effective in the recruiting game his first year back at the college level? Hats off to coach Lewis. He has done a remarkable job thus far with recruits such as Raeshon McNeil, Toryan Smith, Kiante Tripp, Lawrence Marsh and Richard Jackson just to name five high profile recruits from Dixie.


Now I could go on and on about every coach, but that is not necessary. This staff is first-rate and it will sell itself to recruits that want to reach the NFL (you are going to read the coaching biographies if you do not believe this coaching staff’s collective resume is the best in the nation, aren’t you?). That’s the bottom line. The best prep players want to reach the NFL some day.


Tight Ends/Special Teams coach Bernie Parmalee (Tight ends/Special Teams – Miami Dolphins), coach Lewis (Defensive Nickel package/Defensive backs – Miami Dolphins) and of course coach Weis have coached in the NFL. Their combined NFL experience will enable them to talk about how to reach the NFL with recruits and that is not something to take lightly. Recruits will pay attention to coaches that have NFL experience and what they have to say about Notre Dame and why they chose to coach at Notre Dame.


So for the Notre Dame fans wondering how recruiting will unfold, do not fret. This staff is worth its weight in gold (yes, pun intended).


Finally, I have seen coach Weis speak live. He is an incredible speaker and is well prepared for anything. He is going to be dynamite with recruits and their parents alike during official visits and in-home visits.


Good times are ahead.

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