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Pursuit Of 2013 TEs
When Notre Dame started looking at tight ends in the Class of 2013, Pennsylvania’s Adam Breneman was definitely one of the prospects at the top of the list, but there were at least some Irish coaches who liked Mike Heuerman of Florida just as much, if not more.
Fortunately for the Irish, neither prospect was interested in letting the process play out very long.
Breneman spent the summer and fall of his junior year visiting just about every school on his list. He made a pair of trips to South Bend and the Irish were among his finalists along with Penn State, Ohio State and Maryland. In March, the lifelong Nittany Lions fan made his pledge to Penn State public.
But even before Breneman made his decision, Notre Dame had turned the heat up on Heuerman.
Tony Alford extended an offer to Heuerman in December and the two quickly formed a strong relationship. Heuerman’s brother, Jeff, plays tight end at Ohio State and many felt the Buckeyes would be the team to beat, but Alford’s persistence kept the Irish atop the board throughout.
His brother advised him to make the best decision for himself. In order to do that, Heuerman knew he needed to see South Bend for himself. In fact, he decided he needed to see it twice. Heuerman flew up to Notre Dame at the end of March and as he sensed himself growing closer to making a commitment to the Irish, he snuck in one more trip to South Bend a month later.
Alford and Irish tight ends coach Scott Booker visited Heuerman’s school on April 26th, a day before Heuerman was scheduled to announce his decision, and they left with a new commitment.
Rumors continued to link Heuerman to the Buckeyes with some Ohio State insiders predicting a flip, but Heuerman stayed firm. He was annoyed by the persistence of the Buckeye rumors even before he committed and didn’t wish well on those who started or spread them.
He enrolled at Notre Dame last month. While all of the Irish recruits and players were happy to see Brian Kelly return to South Bend, probably none were happier than Heuerman.
It seemed clear Notre Dame had planned on bringing in one tight end in the 2013 class, but the Irish didn’t stop recruiting the position even after gaining Heuerman’s pledge.
The Irish had already offered prospects like DeSean Smith and Hunter Henry when Heuerman committed, but they also reached out to North Carolina’s Josh McNeil afterward. McNeil had some initial interest in the Irish, but it never materialized into anything. He’d go on to commit to both Alabama and LSU, but is headed to a junior college next season.
So again, it seemed the Irish felt set with signing just one in Heuerman.
But then in December, Durham Smythe reached out to Notre Dame.
The Texas tight end had been committed to the in-state Longhorns since March, but was concerned with the offensive system in Austin, decommitted in December. While Stanford remained in touch with Smythe even after his commitment to Texas, Notre Dame hadn’t.
The Irish asked Smythe to stay patient as they looked to see if they could find a spot for him in the 2013 class. Stanford and Michigan also emerged on Smythe’s short list following his change of plans. Some schools tried to push Smythe to make a decision, but he wanted to wait to see what Notre Dame had to say.
Just as he was boarding a plane to return from an official visit to Stanford, Kerry Cooks called. The Irish were ‘re-extending’ the scholarship they’d offered earlier in the process. Booker made a trip down to Texas and Smythe decided to take an official to Notre Dame on Jan. 25th instead of a planned trip to Michigan.
That was a major indication of Smythe’s interest in Notre Dame and he offered his commitment to the Irish before leaving South Bend.
Notre Dame wanted to bring in a high-quality tight end in 2013, it got two.
Notre Dame has made two Final Fours in the last three years, including reaching the national title game where they fell to Duke in overtime in 2010. Last season, the program lost to eventual NCAA champion Loyola in the national semifinals.
Those trips were nice, but coach Kevin Corrigan said he doesn’t want his players banking on the past.
“I want them to be completely present in the now, and that means for each of them, they need to bring their experiences and everything they’ve done until now to the present time,” he said. “I don’t want them worrying about what happened last year and bringing baggage from a team that no longer exists. That team played its last game in May of last year and will never be heard from again. To me, it’s counterproductive to be focused on anything like that and even looking at it as a motivational thing. We know what our goal is. Our goal is to win the national championship.”
Potential more important to Notre Dame than past
New NCAA rules changes will make recruiting more intense, Kelly says.
In recruiting, a program announces on signing day the players it signed, and then it celebrates its class. Just because your favorite program signed a solid 25-recruit class doesnt mean that those are the only 25 players to whom it offered scholarships..
Its one of the benefits that comes along with one of the longest-standing brand names in college football. But a footprint that large also has its challenges.
Oct 13, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish safety Matthias Farley (41) returns an interception against the Stanford Cardinal at Notre Da
For all intents and purposes, Penn State is the leader for 4-star wide receiver Thaddeus Snodgrass , but lets perspective for a moment or two...
What youre about to read will make you sad.
The guy who wrote this can.........................
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