We are under 10 days left until National Signing Day and the rumors are heating up all over the country. A handful of elite recruits are still on the table waiting to pick their home for the next four years of their lives.
Notre Dame has already experienced a couple losses to their 2010 recruiting haul but are looking to add a couple of key players over the next week to an already solid class.
Here is a look at the Irish offensive depth chart as it stands now with the current early enrollees, verbal commitments, and rostered players.
Be aware that each player's class given is what it will be in the Fall of 2010 at the start of next season.
Dayne Crist (Jr.)
Andrew Hendrix (Fr. 4 star)
Tommy Rees (Fr. 3 star)
Nate Montana (Jr.)
A deep cause for concern a couple months ago, the depth at the quarterback position has found some stability with the verbal commitment of Hendrix and the early enrollment of Rees. This news has also been coupled with the return of Nate Montana from the Junior College ranks and the general favorable news on the recovery of Crist's rehabilitating knee.
The two freshman are strong pickups for the Irish, although it appears head coach Brian Kelly is still recruiting a few other signal callers. Either way, the depth is decent but the lack of experience is concerning with the departure of Clausen to the NFL.
What it will all boil down to is how Crist's career plays out. Most commentators would agree that he will, at the very least, be a quality and serviceable quarterback at Notre Dame. The question will hinge on just how high Crist's ceiling will be, and we should have a good answer by this time next year.
In time, Crist will become a very good quarterback and the focus should turn to molding his successor. There may be a lack of experience today, but Crist has been with the program for two years already and the next starter should have the same luxury when the ball is handed over to him.
Running Back/Full Back
Running Back/Full Back
Armando Allen (Sr.)
Robert Hughes (Sr.)
Jonas Gray (Jr.)
Theo Riddick (So.)
Cierre Wood (So.)
Steve Paskorz (Sr.)
Cameron Roberson (Fr. 4 star)
Giovanni Bernard (Fr. 4 star)
It is curious that Charlie Weis left a full cupboard of runners and that Brian Kelly will be utilizing a spread attack that will not heavily rely on the running game. In terms of depth, talent and experience, this is the best position on the Irish roster.
There is almost an embarrassment of riches in the Notre Dame backfield, with four players having significant experience and each with the ability to do different things on the field and make plays.
It will be interesting to see who will become the No. 1 feature back (probably Allen) and whether Kelly will use one runner predominantly or use a rotating committee every game. With Hughes and Paskorz likely being fullbacks, that leaves four talented runners at half back, plus freshmen Roberson (likely a fullback) and Bernard (verbal decommit as of now) left to slowly mature.
Michael Floyd (Jr.)
Duval Kamara (Sr.)
Shaq Evans (So.)
John Goodman (Jr.)
Roby Toma (So.)
Deion Walker (Jr.)
Bary Gallup (Sr.)
Tai-ler Jones (Fr. 4 star)
Bennett Jackson (Fr. 3 star)
Daniel Smith (Fr. 3 star)
Though the loss of Golden Tate to the League and the graduation of Parris hurts, the Irish are still fairly comfortable at the wide out position.
Led by the sensational Michael Floyd, the new coaching staff must be licking its chops at the amount of young talent that will be catching passes next fall. With Kelly's propensity to stretch the field vertically, a new system should benefit a number of hyped recruits who haven't seen much playing time since coming to South Bend.
More specifically, the emergence of Shaq Evans and Deion Walker could provide Notre Dame with two more future stars waiting to make their mark. Also, the veteran Kamara and athletic Goodman bring quality possession-style receiving while Toma and Gallup bring deadly quickness to the mix.
When the addition of freshman Jones (a possible No. 1 receiver in 2012), Smith and Jackson are brought into the equation, the future looks very bright.
Kyle Rudolph (Jr.)
Mike Ragone (Sr.)
Tyler Eifert (So.)
Bobby Burger (Sr.) ^
Jake Golic (So.)
Alex Welch (Fr. 4 star)
Can you tell which positions Charlie Weis was able to recruit at a high level? With junior-to-be Kyle Rudolph leading the way and steady performer Mike Ragone improving, the Irish tight end position looks very solid heading into spring.
At this point, it is unclear if Burger will have another year of eligibility, but if he does he will add more depth with his strong blocking. In 2010, we may see what Eifert and Golic have in store and if there are any injuries to the top dogs, these youngsters will have to step up.
A great pick up on the recruiting trail, Alex Welch is quietly one of the best players in the 2010 class. He may be next in line for glory at Tight End U.
Trevor Robinson (Jr. OG)
Chris Stewart (Sr .OG)
Dan Wenger (Sr. OG)
Andrew Nuss (Sr. OT)
Matt Romine (Sr. OT)
Lane Clelland (Jr. OT)
Braxston Cave (Jr. C)
Chris Watt (So. OG)
Alex Bullard (So. OG)
Zach Martin (So. OT)
Taylor Dever (Sr. OT)
Mike Golic (Jr. C)
Christian Lombard (Fr. 3 star)
Tate Nichols (Fr. 3 star)
There aren’t depth concerns at offensive line as much as there is a worry about who will fill in the two open tackle spots left by Young and Duncan.
But it’s not like there isn’t talent waiting in the wings with Nuss, Romine, and Clelland who were all highly recruited out of high school. We’ll just have to take the wait and see approach with the offensive line because there could be a lot of shuffling of positions in the coming months.
While Lombard and Nichols are only mediocre recruits, Brian Kelly is still trying to land a couple studs still left uncommitted who could really bolster the whole roster and 2010 class. Yet, even without any further additions, the Irish are still stocked with some really strong, if inexperienced, talent on the offensive line.
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