On Thursday morning the Notre Dame Fighting Irish received word they had won the verbal commitment of Ohio quarterback Andrew Hendrix. This gives them six commits so far in the class of 2010. By Thursday afternoon the class again grew by one as projected defensive end Blake Lueders chose Charlie Weis' crew over other academic powers such as Northwestern, Stanford, Boston College, and Wake Forest.
Lueders is a 6'5'', 250 pound middle linebacker from Zionsville High School in Zionsville, Ind. He currently leads the Eagles defense from the middle linebacker position but is being recruited to be a defensive end once he arrives in South Bend. The four-star recruit made 128 tackles as a junior with three of those coming behind the line of scrimmage. He also picked off one pass.
Lueders becomes the second Irish verbal commit at the defensive end with Chris Martin being the first. Martin has been in the news of late as it was announced that he will be taking visits to other schools he had interest in despite already being a verbal commit to the Irish in 2010. However, those reports seem to have gone away after Martin made it clear that he is not a soft verbal because in his own words, "Soft means you're looking. I'm not."
Lueders does not appear to be a blockbuster get for the Irish but instead a guy who is going to take some time to develop into a solid defensive end. His athleticism will help him make strides a lot quicker but the fact that he has played linebacker throughout high school means he likely will not walk in and become and overwhelming presence for the Irish.
Even if it is a bit of a work in progress, Notre Dame received a verbal commitment from a solid athlete who will one day help with the pass rush. That has been a non-factor for the Irish for quite some time now. Notre Dame fans can hope the team takes strides to improve the issue this fall and hopefully won't have to wait until 2010 to see results.