Let the quarterback talk continue!
Maty Mauk, considered one of Notre Dame's top targets for the quarterback position in the 2012 class, verbally committed to Missouri this morning.
With the other top target Gunner Kiel seemingly slowly walking away from an Irish offer and towards Alabama, Oklahoma, or Indiana, it appears as though Notre Dame will not snag any highly rated signal callers in this class.
Does Mauk going to the Tigers mean the Irish will completely pass on a quarterback though?
It's still early, and the coaching staff will have plenty of time to flip a highly rated recruit or even sign a 3-star prospect late in the game, but I've been on record as saying Notre Dame should pass on a quarterback this time around.
"But we need to take a quarterback every single year," you may remark.
Well, it's not that simple.
First of all, the goal is to have solid depth at quarterback and Notre Dame most definitely has that right now.
Some may point to the fiasco last year as proof positive that there needs to be a QB every cycle, but now Hendrix and Golson have fully entered the equation.
What's more, when was the last time Notre Dame had legitimate depth at quarterback like they do now?
Can you even name a backup besides Evan Sharpley?
And come on, we had Evan Sharpley as a backup for a long time! That's a far cry from where the program is at right now.
Perhaps Hendrix and Golson are unproven, but I'm willing to bet they are as talented of players at QB as we've seen in South Bend outside of Quinn, Clausen, and Crist...and I mean that going back into the late 1990's.
Sure, someone could transfer or get injured and leave a precarious hole in the depth chart, yet the same is basically true even if you bring on another quarterback in 2012, and in most cases that would actually virtually guarantee a transfer.
Just look back to 2007 when Notre Dame signed Clausen.
At the start of that ill fated season, the Irish actually had good depth at quarterback (if a lot of inexperience), but Zach Frazer and Demetrius Jones read the writing on the wall and transferred, leaving a huge hole under center.
So while passing on a quarterback for 2012 is a risk, it is much more risky in my opinion to bring in another quarterback and almost guarantee a transfer.
That's basically been my whole issue with the numbers right now.
This won't be an overly large class, we have very good depth and talent at QB right now, and plenty of eligibility left.
I never saw the need to bring in Mauk, just to see Hendrix transfer.
At the same time, it's definitely not an easy decision to make if you're part of the coaching staff, but it is one I think should be, or shall I say, CAN be made this time around.
As far as Mauk is concerned, I was never that enamored with him.
My scouting report: A poor man's Everett Golson, meaning he has the same size as Golson, but not the athleticism or arm as the South Carolina product. Plays in a wacky offense that will hamper his ability to adjust to the college game as an underclassman. There are some character concerns in that his commitment would entail a lot of the same baggage Tate Forcier brought to Michigan (another player Mauk is also compared to skill-wise). Does not have a fundamentally sound throwing motion, although he has good arm strength, there's just not a lot of evidence that he'll be a precision passer in a more conventional spread offense in college. Passing numbers are very impressive, but plays very weak competition. Athleticism and speed are good, although a 5.9 YPC is nothing special against substandard competition and large running lanes created by constant 5-wide formations.
Needless to say I think Mauk is overrated as the No. 10-19th best quarterback in the country according to the three main services.
However, he could have been a perfect addition to Notre Dame in the sense that he would have added to the depth, been allowed plenty of time to develop, and possibly not forced Hendrix or Golson to transfer.
But that is a risk I would be unwilling to take right now if I was head football coach in South Bend.
For whatever reason, Mauk was very high on the Irish board and the relations seemed to cool considerably over the past few months. We can only speculate as to why that happened, but it might be prudent to get used to the Irish not picking up a quarterback for 2012.
Best of luck to Mauk at Mizzou.