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looking at our class


Guest IntoTheRain

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Guest IntoTheRain

.. I'm just shocked as we come up on the end. I'm not whining about the result either, I realize it's a pretty good class, a top 5 class. But wow were my expectations ever shorted out. Only one player ranked as a 5 star, and 12 4 star commitments. Now that's not by any means a poor class, but the point I'm going to make is that we just can't seem to land Harvin style difference makers. We just keep missing out on some of the big name kids, and that's what I'll take home on the surface. Out of all the names we had on our list when this started, we end up with only 1 of the 5 star kids we had targeted. Now don't get me wrong, in my mind Gray is a 5 star talent, as is JT. I do consider DK a 4 star, he seems a little raw, but that doesn't bother me as he is eerily similar to Jarret, also a 4 star. So I think I should narrow my focus, we missed out on 5 star talent on the defensive side of the ball. Because to be honest, the only 5 star offense I'm sad we missed is McKnight, that kid is going to be special. We missed Martin, Donald, sort of Rojo, Wilson, and Austin, and Donald really stands out there. What a disappointment it has been to be so close on all that talent, I was so excited to think about all those guys lining up for notre dame, just to see all that young talent in one place.

 

In the end though there are several things to be very optimistic about. Gary Gray is a 5 star player, no question. They question his size, they say hes a little raw, but to me, he has massive potential. If he's so small how is he able to shut down Tolliver? Either size isn't so big a factor, Tolliver is over rated, or maybe Gray just finds a way to win. JT is gonna do great things, he's another kid who is 5 star caliber, while I do not think he is the top DLine kid in the class, he's not far off. Greg Little is possibly the biggest freak in the class, this kid is amazing, the physical tools are there to a degree that gets me really excited, with Charlie there to tutor him the sky is the limit. Armando Allen is also a 5 star level player, and that's been said by numerous services, his speed and game breaking ability are going to be revolutionary for our offense. Ragone is another HUGE get, this kid has speed that is very hard to find for a TE. He's got great size, and I really think he was a huge steal for us, right under the radar for most. Not to mention that we picked up Clausen, if he starts to break out as a freshman, I think that will do wonders for recruiting in itself. Now the humor to me is, even with all these kids under rated at 4 stars, Notre Dame ranks 2nd nationally if you sort the classes according to average star rank (per Rivals). Only USC outranks us, and that with the advantage of a smaller class. If you look at total number of 4 star kids, only LSU and Texas have more, and that tells you who we're competing with. I do think that USC's class is incredible, we don't have that level, but other than that I think only Florida can claim to have a better group than us. The thing that holds me back from calling it an A level class is that we didn't address some key points, and we didn't get many big time defensive studs (I'm pointing at kids like Donald and Martin, and not trying to neglect kids like Gray and Smith). Maybe it's just disappointing because we started fast, the expectations were so high, Clausen was gonna bring a huge class to ND, and in the end he kind of did, but there are huge holes we expected to be filled. I was so excited when Rockne and TD called Donald to ND, and they were right, and it just slipped away. That's the story of this class in my mind, and to me, if Charlie can turn the corner, and use what he has to build a winner, than he will turn the corner that Ty and others have failed to, and we'll start to win some of these 50/50 battles that we've been losing.

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hey rainman, nice job in summary but what's up with the negativity?? we are nailing down a phenominal class, and it's only gonna get better. dont worry man, this defense will improve dramatically with corwin. the guy is just what we need and he WILL bring in the recruits we have so longed for. keep up the faith and have patience............. :D :D

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Guest IntoTheRain

nd1baby, that's exactly where I'm at. I'm not trying to be negative, I think I'm just something of a realist. So I'm just trying to look at the class objectively. I am trying to be a little optimistic by pointing out that we are a little under rated, and even with that, a top 5 class so far. That despite having fewer commits, and despite missing some of our biggest name targets. I think we have a lot of quality kids, and that to me implies quality people as well as quality talent. I'm very excited about AA, I can't wait to see him play. If we get Hughes, we have a very deep backfield, a deep group of QBs, a very young but talented OL, and some good looking WRs, which I think is the one position that still needs stocking. I think the biggest theme I pointed out was that we were VERY close to having the BEST class, and that we're splitting hairs in some areas. But we still have to acknowledge that we need help on D, though I remain optimistic.

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i think ND did a very good job on offense but the defense i felt fell way short. here's how i see it.

 

QB: A+ (jimmy clausen...enough said)

RB: A+ (ND got what they wanted a gamebreaking speedster and a power back)

WR: A (losing arrelious benn keeps it from being an A+)

TE: A+ (#1 TE in the country....again)

OL: B- (losing wilson, oglesby, miller and MSG keep it from being an elite group)

DE: B+ (trattou and neal are studs but landing martin would've put it over the top)

DT: D- (only one true DT recruite while losing out on so many)

LB: C (losing donald, wilson and edwards really hurt the LB talent)

CB: B (GG is great but would've been nice to land one more talented CB)

S: B+ (landing smith is a real nice get)

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DT is no where near a D-

 

Williams may be the only "true" DT, but in highschool football, that just means he only played one position. Nuss played both DT and OL and from first person accounts was a very good DT. I am not sure about Emeka, but I believe he played a little DT as well.

 

DT gets a B- in my eyes.

 

DE is an A. Neal may be the most under-rated player in the nation, and is a monster. He will be crazy good for us. JT is the same, but is not completely under-rated.

 

 

 

I agree that we could have done better on D (if we had landed any of the guys we missed on), but to say we fell way short is just not correct.

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i agree that both trattou and neal are awsome DEs but the reason i gave it a B+ was because of the fact we lost out on ben martin.

 

in my eyes ND failed big time at DT and thats why i gave them a D-, i know nuss and emeka will move to DT but we lost out on elite prospects like jones, blackwell, mccray, austin and barksdale.

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Guest IntoTheRain

we fell short of what we wanted, that is beyond debate. How can you debate fact, we had a slew of 5 star kids that we didn't land. I don't debate that we have a good class, but we did miss a lot of key kids.

 

Ben Martin

Chris Donald

Everson Griffen

Ronald Johnson

Eric Berry

Marvin Austin

Chris Galippo

Dionte Allen

Major Wright

Martez Wilson

Blackwell

 

now to my understanding, we went after all of these kids. Offers might not have been given to all, and others dropped for various reasons, I left off Barksdale for instance. But look at that amount of talent, and we got none of them. Some of them weren't close, some of them were very close, we tried to get all these kids interested in ND, and we had varying degrees of success, but no wins. That's a massive defeat in itself, if we could have landed Donald and Martin, maybe Wilson, that would have been a huge triumph. So like I said, we're splitting hairs, but that's the attitude to me that brings success, positive criticism and a thirst to always do better. I support the kids we have, but I do consider our defensive class a disappointment when I think about how high the expectations were. In that context it's really beyond debate to me, we struck out on 4-6 kids who had us in their final 2. That's a hard blow, and to keep saying that we're improving is redundant, I'd rather keep challenging the next plateau than pat myself on the back for how far I've come, especially for every individual step.

 

On a side note, I really enjoy being able to have serious conversations with a lot of you guys about it. It's great that we can all be fans and still be objective about our program. I love that we care enough about our team to want to be better now matter how good we are doing.

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Danger,

 

I like your rankings, but I am still undecided regarding the grades for DE and LB. Everybody keeps saying that we're switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4. That could have a huge impact on the type of players needed for LB and DE. If we go to a 3-4, I'm not sure Nagel and Paz are the type of players we need at LB. I think that a Kerry Neal type of player would be a better fit for the linebacker position. If Neal is being thought of as a LB, than the DE recruiting would be a disappointment to say the least.

 

The good news is that if we are switching to a 3-4, that should take some of the pressure on the DT deficiency in this year's class. We would only need one DT on the field at all times. While I am disappointed that we didn't get any DT studs in this year's class, I think we'll be fine with Ian Willams and Nuss and Nwanko (sp?).

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When I look at these last two recruiting classes on offense, I see a good running game, when the opponent expects the run. Our recent experience has been a good running game when the opponent expects the pass. When the running game is good, the passing game will get their chances. Its no wonder our ends were unable to get separation this year for that wide open pass that Troy Smith enjoyed all season (until the last game).

 

I think we are going to be happily surprised on defense, even in 2007. We are getting the right kids (sure more would be great), with good speed, good size, and good attitude. This could be a lot of fun, and its just getting started.

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Guest scooper
i agree that both trattou and neal are awsome DEs but the reason i gave it a B+ was because of the fact we lost out on ben martin.

 

in my eyes ND failed big time at DT and thats why i gave them a D-, i know nuss and emeka will move to DT but we lost out on elite prospects like jones, blackwell, mccray, austin and barksdale.

Nuss and Nwanko each played more DT in 2006 than Ian Williams did.
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Ben Martin

Chris Donald

Everson Griffen

Ronald Johnson

Eric Berry

Marvin Austin

Chris Galippo

Dionte Allen

Major Wright

Martez Wilson

Blackwell

We were only major players for Martin, Donald, Tez, and Blackwell. You can't blame us if the kid isn't interested. Also, I guess Galippo was interested in us, but he commited to SC in Feb. last year so that's telling you something.

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Major would not be a LB. He is a natural at safety and needs to stay there. I would even go as far as to say that if we were pushing for him as a LB, then he should chose someone else....it would be a waste of his talents.

 

 

....I am not saying he "couldn't" be a LB though.

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I was just curious. Now don't think I'm delusional, but I thought I would at least pose the question.

 

With the USC offensive coordinator leaving for the Raiders, is there any chance that Marc Tyler would rethink his decision?

 

I've heard rumors that he was a sure lock for ND, but I've only been following this stuff for a few months.

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I was just curious. Now don't think I'm delusional, but I thought I would at least pose the question.

 

With the USC offensive coordinator leaving for the Raiders, is there any chance that Marc Tyler would rethink his decision?

 

I've heard rumors that he was a sure lock for ND, but I've only been following this stuff for a few months.

nah, he got caught up in the moment with his buddy jc. dont think he was ever really that into nd. as for the usc coaching staff, they seem to reload just like their players. dont worry, those bastards will be right back to torture us.
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Besides the issue of some kids on that list who were never interested in us, and that will happen, you have to consider the impact of grades here - not only with the one I can think of here but I'm sure there were other elite players that we never pursued because of academics.

 

So you have to look at elite guys, then determine whether we can even pursue them, then go after them. You also have to hope with that shortened list, some of them are big on ND or you can convince them to be and have the attitude that the coaching staff wants.

 

Combined, with the skill level we've gotten overall the past two years and the attitude these kids are bringing, I'm pretty happy with what I'm seeing

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