The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are setting themselves up for another disappointment at the hands of the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Just like in the 2013 BCS Championship Game, Notre Dame will lose to Alabama in its pursuit of 5-star defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes.
Vanderdoes, the top-ranked high school defensive tackle (according to 247Sports), will choose Alabama over Notre Dame, UCLA and USC.
The 6’2”, 310-pounder visited South Bend last weekend, but is currently in Tuscaloosa. Being there, at Alabama, may prove to be too much for the youngster as he makes his decision leading up to national signing day on Wednesday.
You have to look at it from his perspective. Sure, picking USC or UCLA and staying close to home would be nice. But visiting and being introduced to two storied and successful programs like Notre Dame and Alabama might be enough to sway his decision in their favor.
That makes this a two-horse race between the teams that battled it out for the national championship just one month prior to signing day.
While staying close to home might be ideal, this is Vanderdoes’ best shot to leave the nest and go exploring. If there were ever a time for it, it is now.
He’s already decommitted from USC once, although he has kept it among his top choices in the process.
Is there any doubt what he will choose if his decision comes down to Tuscaloosa and South Bend?
It’s a powerful statement from a successful recruiter and college football coach. Saban is a lot of things, but recruiting is what the man does best.
He has the best sales pitch, and the best opportunity of any of the coaches vying for Vanderdoes’ services.
Can Brian Kelly, who nearly left South Bend for the NFL after the National Championship Game, sway his mind and convince him the future is at Notre Dame, not Alabama?
It’s not likely.
Notre Dame Football is one of the greatest sporting traditions in America, though. That will certainly help, but it’s not likely that tradition will win out over what we saw on the field on Jan. 7.
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