Pete DiPrimio, sports columnist and college beat writer for The News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Ind., takes his best shots on the world of Notre Dame football.

Wednesday, December 27

Notre Dame Recruiting Never Rests

Sure, Notre Dame remains focused on next Wednesday’s Sugar Bowl battle with Louisiana State in New Orleans, but that doesn’t mean coaches have slowed down their recruiting pace.

In fact, they are targeting stud linebacker Chris Donald out of Tennessee, the state’s No. 1 player whole could help boost an area that badly needs it.

It might help that the Irish just got an oral commitment from another Tennessee high school player, highly regarded safety Harrison Smith. He picked Notre Dame over the Volunteers despite the fact his high school is just a few miles from the Tennessee campus and the fact both his parents are Tennessee grads.

Smith can run a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash, which is significant considering Notre Dame’s rep for lacking defensive speed. In fact, it’s no coincidence that both Smith and Donald are defensive players. You figure with coach Charlie Weis around, the Irish will never have a problem with offense. Defense, however, remains a concern, and the better the players you have there, the better your chances.

In all, Notre Dame has 16 commitments. Coaches can’t comment until signing day, which is in February. Besides, they have a more immediate goal in mind – beating LSU and ending their eight bowl losing streak.


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