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Football: Recruiting trail heats up as top tight end commits

Mike Gilloon | Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Tight end Mike Ragone became the fourth verbal commitment of this recruiting season as the New Jersey high school star announced his intention to attend Notre Dame Monday morning at a press conference at his high school.

Ragone joins highly touted quarterback Jimmy Clausen – who verbally committed to the Irish April 22 – in a class that also includes defensive end Kerry Neal of Bunn, N.C. and linebacker Aaron Nagel of Lemont, Ill.

Ragone (6-foot-5, 230 pounds) caught 30 passes for 800 yards and eight touchdowns in his junior season at Camden Catholic High School in Cherry Hill, N.J. He runs a 4.5 second 40-yard dash and has earned a 4-star ranking (out of a possible five) by Scout.com.

Clausen is a 5-star player from Westlake Village, Calif. He has thrown for more than 7,200 yards and has 88 touchdown passes at Oaks Christian High School.

Mike Frank of Irisheyes.com compared Ragone to Jeremy Shockey, the former Miami tight end now playing for the New York Giants.

“[Ragone’s] an unbelievable talent,” Frank said. “He’s a tight end who can run away from defensive backs. He’s just a tremendous prospect.”

Irisheyes.com listed Florida State, Ohio State, Penn State and Southern California as schools which had offered scholarships to Ragone before he gave his word to Notre Dame.