Notre Dame coaches have been busy on the recruiting trail since the conclusion of spring practice and their hard work has clearly been paying dividends. Last week, the Irish received their seventh verbal commitment in the class of 2012 and their second offensive line commitment. In addition, their evaluations led to a new offer that vaulted Notre Dame to the top of one recruit’s list. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Sports Daily?
Mark Harrell, OL, 6-5, 265, Charlotte Catholic High School, Charlotte, NC planned to take numerous unofficial visits this summer as he attempted to pare down his list of suitors to a more manageable level. Ultimately, he pared his list down just a bit more than that. Last Thursday, Harrell verbally committed to Notre Dame.
“I’m excited about it,” enthused Harrell. “I just got to thinking about it. I’ve been thinking about it for a while and today just felt right. I was in the middle of homework and just called my dad and told him I thought I was ready to make it. He came home and my whole family talked about it and decided it was the best decision for me.”
Harrell also held offers from Auburn, Clemson, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee among others. He first notified assistant coach Mike Elston of his decision who passed word along to Brian Kelly and offensive line coach Ed Warriner.
“He was excited,” Harrell said of Kelly. “He was genuinely excited. He’s excited to get me down there and coach me. I feel like it was sincere and we talked about why I chose it and he talked about why it was going to be a great option for me.”
Harrell’s summer trip plans have been permanently cancelled.
“I’m all done with recruiting,” Harrell informed. “It feels great to get it all done with. I’m solid on the Irish and just glad to get it done with, move on from there and enjoy my senior season.”
Harrell’s parents were just as excited to have his recruitment come to an end as he was. After having made approximately a dozen unofficial visits, they’re glad to have the process come to an end.
“They were excited,” said Harrell. “I think they’re somewhat relieved to get this off their chests as am I. They felt like it was the right decision for me, no doubt about it. They wanted me to pull the trigger just as much as I did. They were telling me education should be the most important part and Notre Dame offers that. Football is a big part of it too and Notre Dame’s got that as well. I just feel it couldn’t get any better for me. I feel they felt the same way.”
“I felt it was just the best place for me as a person as well as a football player and a student. I love the coaching staff as well. They seem like great coaches, great guys. I think we’re going to turn this thing around.”
In addition to Harrell, the Irish also made inroads with another player from the southern Atlantic coast region. CJ Prosise, S, 6-2, 206, Woodberry Forest High School, Woodberry Forest, VA received a Notre Dame offer last week and it really came as no surprise.
Irish coaches Charley Molnar and Bob Diaco had already visited the talented Virginian’s high school, but still the reality of an official scholarship offer from the University of Notre Dame packed quite a wallop.
“It definitely changes my recruiting process,” said Prosise of the Notre Dame offer. “Going from good schools in football and moving to big-time college football.”
Prosise may be overstating it just a bit since his other offers came from some very good programs with outstanding success. He previously held offers from Virginia Tech, Penn State, Boston College, Cincinnati, Maryland, Virginia, Wake Forest, North Carolina and others. Still, he considered the Notre Dame offer to be very special and he hopes to make it to South Bend for an unofficial visit very soon.
“I don’t know when I’ll commit or anything like that or when I’ll be able to visit, but they’re definitely at the top of my list,” he said. “They’re the main type of school I’m thinking about.”
Though Prosise didn’t get the chance to speak to Molnar or Diaco when they visited his school, he has gotten to know them much better through phone conversations.
“I didn’t really get a chance to talk to them that much at school, but from our phone conversations I thought they were pretty good guys and coaches I’d want to be around,” Prosise opined.
Notre Dame currently sits atop his list with Penn State and Virginia Tech rounding out his top three. He likes the academics all three offer, an attribute that is very important to him. His high school also puts an emphasis on strong academics, a point that has not been lost on recruiters who frequently must deal with the loss of academically ineligible recruits significantly changing the strength of a particular recruiting class.
“Academics is going to be a huge part of my decision and then there’s the environment and culture of the school and then football,” he explained. “They (college recruiters) like the school I come from. We have top-notch academics and they said I’ll be a good guy to have in their programs.”
Prosise, who hopes to take some official visits, plans to make a fall decision.
These two summaries represent just a sample of the Notre Dame football recruiting information available each week on Irish Sports Daily.
Click to view article