The commitment of Ethan Johnson is official. This places in a great position (along with the other committed recruits) for depth on the defensive line going forward. Let's just pray we can avoid the injury bug this year.
This year's recruiting class has been really gaining momentum, and recent news has this class taking the next big step towards being the nation's top class. Oh, and it's only July - signing day is still 7 months away.
The official word is that the Irish received their 17th commitment in Georgia DB Jamoris Slaughter. He is another in a long list of 4-star recruits that are climbing onto the bandwagon.
The unofficial word is that Ethan Johnson, the nation's top defensive end prospect (5 stars) is also onboard. It's being reported on BlueandGold.com, and rumored over on Irish Illustrated as well.
Also rumored to be following suit in the next couple of days are 5 star receiver Michael Floyd and 4 star safety Dan McCarthy.
It seems to me like the Irish have already locked up the 4-star guys they wanted to get, and the few 3-stars that the coaching staff liked. We've filled our needs, and now we get to focus on closng the deal with the big boys.
The best way to do this? Just win, baby.
Every year there is a strong correlation between the performance on the field and the fnal push for the elite five-star recruits that wait to make their decision until after the season.
Last year's national champion, Florida, had the top 2007 class. The previous year's champ., Texas, was 2nd. And USC, two years removed from their championship run, finished 3rd. Winning on the field breeds success in recruiting.
Another factor which is weighing in Notre Dame's favor this year is an exciting new coach. In Urban Meyer and Coach Weis' frst year, they finished 2nd and 5th respectively in recruiting, reflecting the buzz surrounding the new coaches.
Notre Dame has a similar buzz going on with the hire of Coach Corwin Brown at DC. He's young, energetic, and knows how to get kids fired up. This has led to success in defensive recruiting even without Brown coaching a game. If he turns this defense around like I think he can, expect us to pick up a few more high profile defensive recruits before this cycle is over.
I don't expect the Irish to win a title this year, but I do think that 10 wins will be enough to turn this into a top class. You see, there are only a handful of seniors on this year's team, and therefore we are setting up this year for a run at a title in 2008.
This year's team can get 10 wins. We will struggle with USC because of the lingering talent gap, and Michigan because of their experience. However, despite our youth, we should be clearly more talented than everyone else on the schedule. If we can avoid making too many rookie mistakes, 10 wins is absolutely achievable.
Even if the team doesn't come together this year and we struggle through a 7-5 or 8-4 type season, nobody at Notre Dame will be jumping off the bandwagon. 'Cause the cupboards are full, and there is too much talent assembled here not to win, and soon.