South Bend is a special place.
After being fired Monday from Notre Dame, Charlie Weis had a decision to make. And with that decision, he proved the above statement to be true.
Would he drop all responsibilities of keeping together a top-ten class after being laid off, or would he continue what he started, encouraging all 18 commitments to stick with the Irish?
After Weis chose the latter, some Notre Dame fans might want to rethink their opinions recently shared on Charlie.
With his latest choice, he has shown respect and commitment to his alma mater, even after being let go following three consecutive disappointing football seasons.
Even with the names of Bob Stoops, Urban Meyer, and Brian Kelly being echoed throughout the streets of downtown South Bend, Weis picked up the phone and began calling 18 verbal commitments, along with numerous others still left on Notre Dame's big board, including Anthony Barr, Seantrel Henderson, Kyle Prater, and Dietrich Riley.
It was a fantastic choice to hand Rob Ianello to run the football operations until a new coach is named. Ianello has been responsible for pulling in numerous five- and four-star recruits single-handedly and will find a way to keep Notre Dame listed as favorites on a few elite recruits' short lists.
In the mean time, Weis is still at work, too.
His first call went to wideout Daniel Smith, a hometown product.
"He got me fired up to play for the new coach and to know who he is,” said Smith. “Up until now, I was just trying to get used to the first adjustment, the loss of my coach. But after talking to coach Weis, I think I'm more comfortable now with looking ahead.”
Any true Irish fan can remember the days when Tyrone Willingham devoted his last weeks to hitting the links at least once a day, forgetting that recruiting was a part of being a head coach in college football.
Because of that, Weis was left with a major hole in his team with minimal productivity coming out of a class that he had to fill up quickly with no help from Willingham.
Whoever the next coach to take the throne at Notre Dame will be, they will be thankful for the effort Weis and his staff are still giving. Because of these efforts, the Irish still have a chance to haul in another top-ten class to give to Weis' successor.
Assistant coaches have been flying all over the nation, visiting each commit in their homes, making sure they are sticking with the Irish. All but one player (DE Chris Martin) have reaffirmed the staff that they will remain solid.
The staff has already made a few commits cancel visits to other schools (most recently Spencer Boyd), and even gained a commitment on the same day as Martin's decommitment in DT Louis Nix.
This verbal may be an ever bigger one than that of Manti Te'o, given the timing and necessity of his commitment.
In this single commit, the Irish get an impact player from Florida, give the recruiting class momentum going forward, and get a run-stopping tackle to stick in the front of their defense.
But what exactly do the words of Weis and his staff mean to these high schoolers if they aren't even going to be around next year?
More than one would think.
“Coach Weis calling, though, just made my day. It's just like him to do something like that. I felt privileged to get to know him. He's such a great guy. I wish I would have had the chance to play for him.
"You know, I was recruited for a long time. You build up close relationships with all the coaches. But he made me realize I could have that with the new coach, too.” says Smith.
Charlie Weis may be in need of an apology come Feb. 3, 2010.
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