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Wednesday Feb. 29 Coffee

  • The Observer:

    Single girl swag
    Letter to the Editor

    I am writing in response to the column "Dating and relating" (Feb. 26) by David Moss. As a student who is enrolled at Saint Mary's and at Notre Dame, this article is particularly appealing to me. First of all, to all Notre Dame and Saint Mary's women, this stigma between us has got to end. We are all adults and we have all worked endlessly to be where we want to be. This so called "rivalry" between us is old and is too similar to high school (coming from an all-girl's high school myself). Notre Dame ladies, where is this pressure from Saint Mary's students coming from? You have all worked so hard through high school to come to your dream college and to earn a degree that is second to none. There are thousands of people out there who would have killed to have your spot. Think of those who were accepted but could not afford to come to Notre Dame at all. Please don't take the gift you all have for granted.
    Also, don't for an instant second-guess yourself from going to Notre Dame just because the "social dating scene" is a little dry or that the boys seem uninterested in you. We are all in our 20s! This is the time to live! Let the boys be; let them be bros with their bros. Soon they're going to have to say goodbye to all of that anyway if you want a man to rake in all the dough for you (my apologizes, gentlemen). For the single ladies out there, go ahead and get your single girl swag on, get dressed up and have a fun night on the town, regardless if a boy pays attention or not! In response to the men "mooing" at you for getting fro-yo, I say you moo right back. To the girls judging you for what you have on your plate, toss your left-overs right to them. Notre Dame is your home, and your home is the last place where you should feel judged.
    Hillary Shesterkin
    freshman
    LeMans Hall
    Feb. 28

  • Irish Offer Phoenix WR

    Last week Notre Dame received the commitment from the top 2012 player in the state of Arizona and sent out a handful of offers to 2013 Arizona prospects, but the Irish aren’t finished recruiting the Grand Canyon State.

    Phoenix wide receiver Devon Allen is the latest Arizona prospect to pick up an offer from Notre Dame. New Irish assistant Bob Elliott is in charge of recruiting Arizona now and has been in touch with the 6-foot-1, 195-pound speedster.

    “I’d been talking to some of the coaches,” said Allen. “Coach Elliott said they were looking at my whole film as a staff and said I should be hearing from them soon.”

    Allen heard from Elliott on Tuesday.

    “I'm very excited and looking forward to learning more about Notre Dame,” Allen said after receiving the offer.

    Allen already had offers from schools like Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Stanford, UCLA, Washington, Vanderbilt and Purdue among others.

    “It kind of happened pretty quickly,” Allen said of becoming a national recruit. “Within a month or two I got the bulk of my offers right after the football season. I’m just taking them in stride.

    “It lets me know that my hard work is paying off.”

    Allen had 44 receptions for 17 touchdowns and just under 900 yards receiving as a junior at Brophy. He’s been clocked at 4.4 in the 40-yard dash and has run a 10.5 in the 100-meter dash. College coaches like the way his speed translates to the football field.

    “I’m a big playmaker, that’s probably the most common thing,” he said. “The other thing is I’m fast and I can run. I’ve got good size for how fast I am. My ability to make plays at the next level is what they love to see in me.”

    Allen doesn’t know much about Notre Dame at this point, but is hearing about it from at least one person at Brophy.

    “My counselor is actually talking to me a little bit about it and said that Notre Dame has a beautiful campus and has big-time football,” said Allen. “That’s pretty much all I know about it.

    “That’s definitely a school I would be very interested in. If I can visit, that’d be one of the schools for sure I’d want to see.”

    In addition to his recent contact with Elliott, Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chuck Martin and Irish assistant Tony Alford stopped by Brophy during the evaluation period.

    “They said they were very interested in me as a player and they would let me know as the recruiting process goes,” Allen said of his continued contact with the Irish staff.

    He’s already been to junior days at Arizona State, Stanford, USC and Washington.

    “They were pretty nice,” he said. “The coaches greeted me and made me feel at home. They went pretty well overall.”

    He doesn’t really have any favorites yet because he knows so much more about the schools he’s already visited.

    “I’m not really biased toward any schools,” he said. “I’m just trying to see what’s going on with all of the schools that are interested in me.”

    Academics will be a primary factor in his decision.

    “If I can get into a school, I want to know I can make something out of myself after the four years of playing football or running track,” he said.

    “That will definitely be a big part of my decision. Also, if I would want to live there without football. That’s a big part too because you have to go to the school that you’d want to go to without the football aspect.”

  • Matuska Excited For ND Jr. Day

    Jacob Matuska landed three offers in January, but the 2013 athlete from Columbus, Ohio has really seen his recruitment take off this month.

    “It’s been happening fast here since Feb. 1st,” Matuska’s father Jim said.

    Since signing day, the 6-foot-5, 240-pounder from Bishop Hartley High School has added offers from Notre Dame, Michigan, Nebraska, Kentucky, Northwestern, Indiana and South Florida to a list that already included Oklahoma, Syracuse, Illinois and North Carolina State.

    Bishop Hartley head coach Brad Burchfield has helped Matuska and his family deal with all of the attention.

    “Coach Burchfield has done a fine job communicating with us as well as letting us know what to expect,” Matuska’s father said. “We were kind of anxious to start hearing from some of these schools.”

    Notre Dame was clearly one of the schools the family was looking forward to hearing from. Matuska will be attending the Irish’s Junior Day this weekend after making trips to South Bend for last fall’s USC game and a camp last summer.

    “As a family, we were able to take a look through campus and see some sights, but not a whole lot of the school and the academics,” Jim Matuska said of the previous trips. “We’re looking forward to that and we’re looking forward to talking to the coaches in a more of a relaxed environment.

    “On game day, everything is moving fast. We’re looking forward to getting a more clear of an idea of where they see him and how he’ll fit in.”

    Matuska is being recruited by some schools as a tight end and others as a linebacker or defensive end. The Irish like Matuska as a defender.

    “They’re most definitely looking on the defensive side of the ball,” his father said. “Probably more of a defensive end and maybe even an outside backer, I guess. When we were up at the camp, they gave him some reps at tight end as well as linebacker and a little bit of defensive end. I think they perceive him on the defensive side of the ball.”

    That may not be Matuska’s preference, but it probably won’t be a major factor either.

    “He definitely leans toward the offensive side of the ball, but whatever the opportunity is best-suited for the situation,” his father said. “For the right place, right time, he’s willing to do whatever it takes.”

    Despite living in Columbus, Matuska has always sided with the Irish over the hometown Buckeyes.

    “I guess you kind of take after the direction of your parents and family,” Jim Matuska said. “Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been a Buckeye fan as well as a Notre Dame fan. We’ve always been in the Catholic school system. When I went to school, our team was the Fighting Irish. It’s just been something that he’s been around. Obviously the tradition and the mystique pique his interest.

    “It’s kind of where most of us have been leaning a little bit more heavily toward the Buckeyes being here in Buckeye territory, but he’s always kind of stayed on the Notre Dame track.”

    Burchfield gets a kick out of seeing Matuska welcome college coaches, regardless of which school they’re from, while wearing a Fighting Irish tie.

    “I told him it’s an interesting conversation piece for sure,” his father laughed. “I told one of the coaches, ‘I guess we probably need to get him one tie from every school.’ Typically, he’s been a Notre Dame fan and that’s the only college team tie that he has, that’s for sure.”

    Matuska is looking forward to visiting South Bend again this weekend and the Irish figure to be in the mix until the end .

    “I think we’re at the point right now where we really want to get down to a handful of schools, maybe even a few schools that we can really see up close and personal and look at everything and make that decision,” his father said.

    “There’s no doubt that Notre Dame is one of those for sure.”

  • Hollins A Special Talent, Person

    Deon Hollins is quickly making a name for himself as one of the top 2013 defensive prospects in the state of Texas.

    “He’s pretty special,” Fort Bend Marshall High School head coach James Williams said of the 6-foot-2, 225-pound linebacker/defensive end from Missouri City, Texas.

    “He’s a very explosive player,” Williams added. “His get-off is the best I’ve seen. He’s learning to use great technique. He’s got a very good d-line coach that’s really been teaching him the ins and outs of playing defensive end the right way. He’s just really got a knack for being explosive, getting off the ball and making plays.”

    Hollins has already gathered offers from schools like Notre Dame, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Duke, Kansas State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Stanford, Texas Tech and Washington among others.

    Notre Dame came through with its offer last week and the interest is mutual. Hollins has the Irish in his early six five along with Washington, Oregon, Texas Tech, Nebraska and Stanford, but the Sooners could be moving up as well.

    Hollins does a great job anticipating snap counts and getting jumps on his opponent, which helped him notch more than 70 tackles, including 22 behind the line of scrimmage and 15 sacks, as a junior.

    “He does a good job,” said Williams. “He looks at keys from the center, looks at the ball. He’s pretty special in that aspect.”

    His knack to get off the ball, coupled with his explosive first step makes Hollins a dangerous pass rusher.

    “It’s definitely very lethal,” said Williams. “Anytime you can put pressure on the quarterback without having to blitz or put your secondary at risk, it’s very beneficial for the team.”

    Hollins prides himself on being a student of the game and his dedication to learning his craft is helping him blossom as a player.

    “It’s critical,” Williams said. “That’s what makes him special. He’s not just out there running around. He’s actually using technique and playing with great hands and great leverage.”

    And he’s as impressive off the field as he is on it, according to his coach.

    “He’s a great kid,” said Williams. “He’s a yes-sir, no-sir type kid. He works his tail off. His GPA is off the charts. Those ones don’t come around very often.”

  • Visit list short but sweet

    BOB WIENEKE
    South Bend Tribune
    2:46 p.m. EST, February 29, 2012

    A recruiting trend that 247Sports.com national recruiting analyst Steve Wiltfong sees developing is schools hosting smaller, more intimate, if you will, groups of junior visitors.

    Kind of like what’s happening at Notre Dame this weekend as the ND staff is expected to host five talented juniors.

    “It’s big,” Wiltfong said. “These are guys that they have a great chance to get, or they’re certainly in the mix for. A couple of them they may even be the leader for.”

    One that Wiltfong believes the Irish are leading for is Hunter Bivin, a 6-foot-7, 290-pound offensive tackle from Owensboro (Apollo), Ky.

    The other four expected are 6-3, 200-pound linebacker/defensive end Jaylon Smith of Fort Wayne (Luers), 6-3, 215-pound running back Ty Isaac of Joliet (Catholic), Ill., 6-3, 200-pound wide receiver Keeon Johnson of Kannapolis (Brown), N.C., and 6-5, 240-pound tight end Jacob Matuska of Columbus (Bishop Hartley), Ohio.

    “With it being such a small gathering, Notre Dame can really do a good job of getting to know these guys better,” Wiltfong said, “and these guys can get to know the coaching staff better.”

    Notre Dame has received one commitment in the 2013 recruiting cycle, that of Steve Elmer, a 6-6, 305-pound offensive tackle from Midland, Mich.

    Notre Dame football recruiting: Visit list sh

    A recruiting trend that 247Sports.com national recruiting analyst Steve Wiltfong sees developing is schools hosting smaller, more intimate, if you will, groups of junior visitors.

    http://www.southbendtribune.com/sports/sbt-notre-dame-football-recruiting-visit-list-short-but-sweet-20120229,0,3371113.story