Just in case you haven't been around the interwebs over the past 24-48 hours, there was quite a buzz around the program concerning a "special visitor" to campus over the weekend. It turns out that visitor was RB Amir Carlisle, who committed to USC last February over the Irish and Stanford.
And now he is transferring to Notre Dame and enrolling for the spring semester. The story broke Saturday afternoon, and an article from the South Bend Tribune can be found here.
Per NCAA transfer rules, Carlisle will have to sit out the 2012 season, but willhave three years of eligiblity remaining starting in 2013.
In 2011, Amir was limited by a few injuries, but still played in five games. His numbers for the season were 118 yds rushing on 19 carries (mostly against Colorado) and 7 rec for 41 yds and 1 TD.
Carlisle was a highly regarded recruit coming out of The King's Academy (Sunnyvale, CA) and was listed at 5'10"/181 lbs and had a 4.41 40 time.
Recruiting Service Rankings (from 2011):
ESPN - 4 Star (#12 CA, #17 RB), #114 Overall (81 Grade)
Rivals - 4 Star (#9 CA, #4 RB), #93 Overall (5.8 Grade)
Scout - 4 Star (#15 RB), #140 Overall
247Sports - 4 Star (#7 CA, #2 APB), #65 Overall (95 Grade)
More after the jump.
Highlights (High School):
'11 CA HB Amir Carlisle (via RedshirtScouting)
Carlisle will sit out 2012 per NCAA transfer rules. This may be beneficial since there are some reports that he will require minor knee surgery and he will have to learn a new offense in South Bend.
He will likely have to put on another 10-15 pounds (to play somewhere around 200-205) in order to be more effective in pass protection, but this shouldn't impact his explosiveness.
Many Irish fans were disappointed that Notre Dame missed out on Carlisle last year. It appears that good things come to those who wait.
Carlisle will likely see plenty of action in 2013, since Theo Riddick will be out of eligibility and I think that Cierre Wood leaves for the NFL (even though he will have a year of eligibility remaining). He is a difference-maker at the RB position and is an excellent pass catcher coming out of the backfield.
He will likely play as part of a heavy rotation with George Atkinson III, William Mahone, KeiVarae Russell and Cam McDaniel. I think it is safe to say that a more up-tempo offense will be seen starting next fall, and the ability to rotate several backs into the game will pay huge dividends for the offense.
It should be a lot of fun to watch him for three years in South Bend.
There are a few interesting points that others have made about this transfer. The one that I find most interesting is that we have Jim Harbaugh to thank for this. Amir's father was the former strength and conditioning coach for the 49ers, but was not retained by Harbaugh when he took over. Carlisle's father then took a similar position at Purdue, which led to Amir wanting to be closer to his family.
I guess a thank you note should be sent to San Fancisco 49er front office is in order.
The second point I would like to make is this--Irish fans can expect a different look offensively in the fall. Once Chuck Martin took over as offensive coordinator, there was an immediate shift in recruiting priorities. Carlisle is probably a better fit for the offense that Martin (and Kelly) would like to run--some multiple back sets with versatile play-makers who can run, catch and cause match-up problems in space.
Welcome to Notre Dame Amir!