Notre Dame Football Recruiting: Everett Golson and the Top 10 Offensive Recruits
Notre Dame football has gone through a tumultuous last few years trying to regain its place in the national spotlight.
After a coaching change, the Fighting Irish have started to take some steps in the right direction, finishing the season with an 8-5 record thanks to a victory over over the Miami Hurricanes in the Hyundai Sun Bowl.
For Notre Dame to continue its journey back to being a nationally significant team, the Irish will need to bring in some high-quality recruits. They still have the novelty of being Notre Dame, which helps them bring in some serious talent.
This year Brian Kelly already had 23 commits before National Signing Day, and seven of them fell in the ESPN Top 150.
However, they will have to make a major impact on both sides of the ball to bring Notre Dame back to national glory. In particular, these recruits will need to right the ship for an offense that finished ranked 67th in FBS ranking for points per game.
Here are Notre Dame's top 10 offensive recruits that could help put points on the board and wins in the record books.
10. Nick Martin, OT
Martin is one of many recruits Notre Dame targeted to provide a boost to the offensive line. With a bolstered line Brian Kelly will get more time for his quarterback and bigger holes for his tailbacks.
Martin definitely fits the description more for the latter. He has the looks of a player that could step in and become an above-average run blocker. He is 6'4'' and 260 pounds, ranked as the 39th offensive lineman in this class by both ESPN and Scout.com.
His average athleticism can at times be a drawback while trying to block in the passing game. It also could hold him back while trying to block on toss plays or any pitches to the outside.
Kelly made a smart move in signing a player who also was being recruited by the Michigan Wolverines and the Tennessee Volunteers. The fact that Martin's older brother is already a member of the Fighting Irish certainly didn't hurt either.
9. Kyle Brindza, K
Obviously nobody wants one of their top recruits to be a kicker. However, with much attention being spent on addressing the defensive side of the ball, Brindza actually is a bright spot on offense. He is ranked as the No. 1 recruit at his position by Scout, No. 6 by ESPN.
Like it or not, kickers do have an impact on games, and there is nothing worse than losing due to an inconsistent kicking game. Inconsistency will not be a problem with this 3-star recruit in town.
If nothing else, Brindza made almost every kickoff a touchback in high school, so he should provide good field position for Notre Dame.
Brindza almost stayed in his home state to play for the Michigan Wolverines, but (luckily for Notre Dame) he chose the Irish.
8. Matthias Farley, ATH
Farley has actually been signed as an athlete and his position is yet to be determined, so this is also a projection of where he will end up.
At 6'1'' and as a player who loves to have the ball in his hands he would make sense as a wide receiver in South Bend. He does not do anything particularly extraordinary but has a knack for making big plays.
This is partly because he plays with heart and shows a determination to succeed. Could be a classic person who is overlooked for not doing anything well but is just a football player by nature.
Farley also considered North Carolina, Wisconsin and UCLA.
7. Cam McDaniel, RB
McDaniel is a deceptive running back that does an excellent job of finding any hole and getting through it with a purpose. At 5'10'' and 190 pounds he relies on his quickness to separate himself from the pack.
He also has the ability to catch the ball and make people miss in the open field. As it stands McDaniel seems to have the perfect mold for a change of pace or third-down back.
However, Notre Dame hopes that ESPN's 50th-ranked running back can develop into even more.
He also looked at attending Iowa, Iowa State and Stanford.
6. Troy Springmann, OT
Springmann ranks so high on this list mostly because of his potential as a run blocker.
He is just ESPN's 43rd-ranked offensive lineman due to inconsistency and a lack of ideal strength. However, he has solid athleticism and the looks of a player that could provide a big boost in the running game.
Thanks to his athletcism he can also get outside and lay blocks on plays that call for it. Springmann should help improve a running game that struggled last season.
The 3-star recruit also contemplated attending Purde, Michigan State and Boston College.
5. Troy Niklas, TE
Niklas is tight end with a similiar blend of pass-catching and -blocking to another Notre Dame recruit. He is ESPN's 19th-ranked tight end in the class thanks in large part to his size.
At 6'6'' and weighing in at 245 pounds, he has the look of a big red-zone target. He is a suprisingly capable blocker as well.
However, his real draw comes from his ability to catch passes with steady hands and solid concentration. The one part of his game in question is his speed.
At worst Niklas will not be able to go downfield, but will still be a pass catching option.
He also considered going to play for the rival USC Trojans.
4. Everett Golson, QB
The recently committed Golson may very well be the most significant recruit that Notre Dame has signed due to a need at the position. He has some question marks, but if he is able to pan out he could pay huge dividends for the Irish.
Golson is ESPN's 25th-ranked quarterback in the class, event hough originally he was signed as an athlete and not as actual quarterback. It appears as though Brian Kelly will give him a chance to show what he can do under center.
As a passer he actually has a better arm than people give him credit for. However, concerns have persisted about his lack of size. Golson is listed at a generous 6'0", which could provide problems behind a bigger offensive line.
Before deciding to go to Notre Dame he also considered North Carolina and South Carolina.
3. Ben Koyack, TE
Ben Koyack is the highest ranked recruit within a particular position that Notre Dame has officially signed for 2011.
ESPN's third-ranked tight end in the class, and 77th overall player, should pay immediate dividends for the Fighting Irish.
He is 6'5'' with good hands and the ability to go get a ball at the top of his jump. He also has the necessary tools to be a force when called upon to block.
The one drawback for Koyack is his speed really prevents him from being a down-the-field type of pass catcher. That being said, his steady ability to make plays should help the Irish improve in the passing game.
Koyack looked at Ohio State and Penn State before deciding to go with the Notre Dame tradition.
2. DaVaris Daniels, WR
Daniels briefly considered Miami, Oklahoma and Michigan before signing with Notre Dame. The point is he is a much-coveted receiver, and for good reason.
Daniels is ESPN's 12th-ranked wide receiver and 65th overall player in the 2011 recruiting class.
Daniels is 6'2'' with great strength and speed that make him a 4-star prospect. His big frame also makes him an excellent red-zone target, which every quarterback needs.
In high school Daniels also spent time at quarterback, which is a testament to his great athleticism and play-making ability.
Coupled with the rest of this recruiting class, Daniels could really provide the spark needed on the offensive side of the ball.
1. Matthew Hegarty, OT
Hegarty is a 4-star recruit out of New Mexico who should do wonders to bolster the Fighting Irish's offensive line.
At an enormous 6'5'' he has the looks of an NFL tackle in the making. He is only 265 at the time being but should continue to fill out as he matures and gets on a stricter weight lifting regimen.
Hegarty is ESPN's No. 5 offensive tackle recruit in the country and its No. 36 prospect overall. In South Bend he will be expected to open holes for a rushing attack that ranked a meager 92nd in the country in 2010.
Hegarty also considered USC, Oklahoma and Texas before committing to Notre Dame.
If things fall right for coach Kelly, then this list should continue to grow and even more No. 1 options will emerge to once again make Notre Dame a national championship contender.