I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter and an enjoyable first weekend without Notre Dame practicing. Don't worry, only about 15 more weekends to go before practice starts again in August. Bear down for the long dark months of nothingness.
Anyway, before last weekend's spring game the Irish welcomed three more recruits to the fold and they were all great additions to the program. Here's a look at the trio:
Ronald Darby- CB/RB
-5'11" 175 pounds from Oxon Hill, MD (Potomac High School)
-Scout Ranking: 5-star, #1 CB
-2010 stats: 154 attempts, 1,329 yards, 23 TD
Yes, Darby's verbal was a mild surprise and yes he is rated the number one corner in the nation right now.
Teamed with the past verbal of Tee Sheppard, the Irish now have a major one-two punch in the secondary that may be the best combo to come to South Bend in many years.
Like many athletes prior to their senior season in high school, Darby is very raw but has speed to die for. Billed as the "fastest high schooler in the country" he runs a legitimate 4.3 in the 40-yard dash and is the current prep champion in the 200 meter.
Obviously Darby's speed has people like me drooling about him playing in the offensive backfield, but even though the Irish need help at running back it appears the coaching staff wants him to play at corner and that is the position he wants to play in college. He should also be in the mix at kick and punt returner the moment he steps on campus.
Needless to say this is a huge committment for Notre Dame. Last year the focus was on the front seven and bringing in power and speed, while this year Brian Kelly & Co. have secured verbals from possibly the two best corners in the nation.
Nick Baratti- QB/S
-6'2" 210 pounds from Spring, Texas (Klein Oak High School)
-Scout ranking: 4-star, #14 S
-2010 stats: 1,873 passing yards, 13 TD, 1,267 rushing yards
Baratti is another two-way player who projects as a good sized safety at the next level in the vein of current Irish stars Harrison Smith and Zeke Motta.
He is a successful quarterback at his Houston-area high school but the scouting reports all rave about his closing speed and nose for the football on defense.
With original 2010 recruit Chris Badger coming back from a mission next year, this verbal from Baratti gives Notre Dame two safety's coming in and four talented secondary players ready to come to South Bend next year.
Not only is it great to pick up a high caliber player like Baratti, but this signals the coaching staff's committment to recruiting hard again in Texas.
Scott Daly- LS
-6'3" 230 pounds from Downers Grove, Illinois (South High School)
-Not ranked (long-snapper)
-No stats (but really freakin' good at long-snapping.)
Count me as one of those who thinks the long snapper situation could be figured out without wasting a scholarship in what is likely to be a small class, but if you're going to go get one it might as well be the consensus top pick in the country.
Not a flashy recruit by any means but a necessary evil, if you want to call it that.
Now let's get some running backs and receivers!