Summary of Notre Dame’s 2011 Recruiting Class

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Given how insane the current weather is in the Midwest is, most local and area schools – including the University of Notre Dame – are closed today due to the snow. But football signing day moves on! And the Irish landed the #12 class according to ESPNU. Seven of the 23 commits are in the ESPNU top 150. It’s a very defense oriented class, and they landed four of the top 12 rated defensive ends.

The Irish football staff starts the day with five individuals already officially in the fold. Five members of the 2011 recruiting class graduated from high school early and enrolled at the University of Notre Dame in January and began taking classes for the spring semester.

Here’s who they are, and later a summary of the 23 Irish additions:

Kyle Brindza (BRIND-zuh), 6-1, 219, Specialist/K/P, Canton, Mich. (Plymouth)

Ishaq (EE-shaq) Williams, 6-5, 242, Big Skill/LB, Brooklyn, N.Y. (Lincoln)

Aaron Lynch, 6-6, 240, Power/DL, Cape Coral, Fla. (Island Coast)

Everett Golson, 6-0, 170, Skill/QB, Myrtle Beach, S.C. (Myrtle Beach)

Brad Carrico (CARE-uh-co), 6-5.5, 287, Power/DL, Dublin, Ohio (Coffman)

Some of Brian Kelly’s comments today:

“Recruiting at Notre Dame requires a great deal of effort. I want to underscore how the effort in recruiting requires the entire staff being involved and not just in athletics. To get to those 14 states requires a very committed staff. The reality and the business of recruiting is you have to have guys willing to grind it out. It’s work – you have to work at this. Our staff has been diligent and they would not take no for an answer, especially when the answer was yes in the beginning. The reality is you go into everybody’s backyard and they don’t want you to take their players. All nine guys on the staff have to recruit, and they all played animportant role in putting this class together. Stanford is maybe the only school comes close to recruiting as many states as we do. You just have to be able to continue to sell the message of Notre Dame.”brian_kelly-notre-dame

“The defensive end position, the edge of our defense, was the number one focus for us. Then the balance in the rest of the class was important to us. If your assets are on the defensive end, that’s a good place to start.”

“Everyone’s a general manager with the roster, but our focus is a little more broad when it comes to positions. You may fit the profile as far as size and weight, but we’re a little more open-minded as to position. We start by looking at being in the skill, big skill or power designation.”

Class synopsis

–          Fifteen who were selected for postseason all-star games.

–          Six who were selected for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio: WR George Atkinson III, OL Conor Hanratty (chose not to play), OL Matt Hegarty, DL Aaron Lynch, DL Stephon Tuitt and LB Ishaq Williams.

–          Two who played in the Under Armour All-America Game in St. Petersburg, Fla.: WR DaVaris Daniels and TE Ben Koyack.

–          Four who played in the Offense-Defense Bowl in Myrtle Beach, S.C.: DL Brad Carrico, DB Eilar Hardy, LB Jarrett Grace and K Kyle Brindza.

–          Five who played in the Team USA vs. The World All-Star Game in Austin, Texas: WR George Atkinson III, DB Josh Atkinson, OL Matt Hegarty, LB Anthony Rabasa and DL Stephon Tuitt.

–          Two who played in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas in Spartanburg, S.C.: LB Ben Councell and QB Everett Golson.

–          12 members of the SuperPrep All-America Team: QB Everett Golson, TE Ben Koyack, WR George Atkinson III, WR DaVaris Daniels, OL Conor Hanratty, OL Matt Hegarty, DL Aaron Lynch, DL Stephon Tuitt, DL Tony Springmann, LB Ishaq Williams, LB Jarrett Grace and DB Eilar Hardy.

–          Three members of the SuperPrep Elite 50: LB Ishaq Williams (17th), TE Ben Koyack (27th), DL Aaron Lynch (36th).

–          Eight members of the MaxPreps Top 100: DL Aaron Lynch (22nd), DL Stephon Tuitt (42nd), TE Ben Koyack (54th), OL Matt Hegarty (56th), LB Ishaq Williams (70th), WR DaVaris Daniels (75th), QB Everett Golson (79th) and WR George Atkinson III (83rd).

–          Seven members of the ESPNU 150: DL Aaron Lynch (15th), OL Matt Hegarty (36th), LB Ishaq Williams (42nd), WR DaVaris Daniels (65th), TE Ben Koyack (78th), DL Stephon Tuitt (90th) and LB Anthony Rabasa (123rd).

–          11 members of the 247Sports Top 247: DL Aaron Lynch (sixth), DL Stephon Tuitt (38th), LB Ishaq Williams (45th), WR DaVaris Daniels (63rd), TE Ben Koyack (66th), OL Matt Hegarty (83rd), LB Ben Councell (97th), WR George Atkinson III (111th), DB Eilar Hardy (170th), TE/DL Troy Niklas (222nd) and QB Everett Golson (227th).

–          10 members of the Rivals.com 250: LB Ishaq Williams (16th), DL Stephon Tuitt (22nd), DL Aaron Lynch (28th), OL Matt Hegarty (70th), TE Ben Koyack (82nd), LB Ben Councell (91st), WR George Atkinson III (126th), WR DaVaris Daniels (178th), DB Eilar Hardy (217th) and TE/DL Troy Niklas (221st).

–          10 members of the Scout.com Top 300: DL Aaron Lynch (10th), LB Ishaq Williams (20th), TE Ben Koyack (25th), DL Stephon Tuitt (44th), TE/DL Troy Niklas (75th), OL Matt Hegarty (105th), WR DaVaris Daniels (161st), DB Eilar Hardy (175th), LB Jarrett Grace (235th) and QB Everett Golson (254th).

–          Four members of Sporting News Top 100: DL Stephon Tuitt (23rd), TE Ben Koyack (34th), OL Matt Hegarty (43rd), WR DaVaris Daniels (64th).

–          One Gatorade State Football Player of the Year: LB Ishaq Williams (New York)

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net. He doesn’t have a real nickname, but he is also a regular contributor to the Tribune’s Chicago Now network, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com

He does a weekly radio segment on Chicagoland Sports Radio.com and Cleveland.com

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

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