As usual, there’s a lot of hype and anticipation heading into next college football season regarding Notre Dame. It’s not like last season where gridiron experts are projecting them into a BCS bowl, instead it’s more about their schedule (how tough it is) and how NFL ready some of their talent is.
Especially keep an eye on linebacker Manti Te’o and tight end Tyler Eifert. And circle the dates with USC and Oklahoma.
Athlon’s college football annual will hit newsstands soon and Te’o will be on the cover of the national edition. Here are some of the many other mentions where ND gets national love from Athlon:
–Te’o and tight end Tyler Eifert both are projected as first-team All-Americans.
— Athlon rates Notre Dame’s quarterback battle in the fall as the second best in the country (behind Oregon’s).
— It lists the jeweled shillelagh that Notre Dame and USC battle for as the second best rivalry trophy (behind the Floyd of Rosedale pig that goes to the Iowa-Minnesota winner).
— Under the category “Five School Names We’d Like to See Acted Out at Intermission,” #4 is crossing of the Notre Dame “T.”
— The list of NFL draft-eligible prospects has Te’o ninth and Eifert 31st.
— The list of top 12 non-conference games has Notre Dame-Oklahoma on Oct. 27 rated second, Notre Dame-Michigan on Sept. 22 third, Notre Dame-USC on Nov. 24 seventh, Notre Dame-Miami on Oct. 6 10th and Notre Dame-Navy from Dublin on Sept. 1 12th.
— Notre Dame’s 2012 recruiting class is rated 20th.
— Among the top 100 incoming freshmen, Gunner Kiel is 20th overall.
— In recruiting position rankings, Notre Dame is fourth for quarterbacks, 10th for defensive tackles, eighth for defensive backs.
— The Irish are rated 33rd for 2012, with upcoming Notre Dame opponents USC second, Oklahoma fourth, Michigan seventh, Michigan State 12th and Stanford 21st.
— In player ratings, Cierre Wood is 18th among running backs, Eifert first among tight ends, Te’o first among inside linebackers.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, MSN, and Fox Sports
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks