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Football Recruiting: Illinois defensive lineman commits for Class of 2012

JAY FITZPATRICK AND KEN FOWLER | Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Notre Dame landed its fourth verbal commitment – and third lineman – for the Class of 2012 Tuesday when defensive tackle Sean Cwynar of Woodstock, Ill., said he would play for Irish coach Charlie Weis.

Cwynar, a junior at Marian Central Catholic High School, is listed at 6-foot-4 and 283 pounds. Players cannot sign binding letters of intent until next February.

One of the reasons Cwynar decided to commit early to the Irish was because he wanted to be active in recruiting other players to play for Notre Dame.

“If I commit now maybe I can have some other commits jump in the boat and help make something special,” he said.

Cwynar had offers from Iowa, Michigan State, Purdue and Wisconsin, among others.

Mike Frank, who covers Notre Dame recruiting for IrishEyes.com, said Cwynar received so many offers this early because of great potential in the college game. Frank also said Cwynar plays a lot like another Irish defensive standout.

“He reminds me a lot of Derek Landri, but a guy who’s bigger and stronger than Landri coming out of high school,” Frank said. “He shows the same kind of quickness and the same kind of tenacity that you’ll see from Derek Landri when he plays on the field.”

Cwynar was the defensive player of the year in the Suburban Catholic athletic conference, registering 102 tackles and 17 sacks. Despite playing tackle on Marian’s defensive line, Mike Frank mostly sees Cwynar playing at defensive end in defensive coordinator Corwin Brown’s 3-4 defensive scheme.

Cwynar agrees.

“[Notre Dame’s coaches] like me at the defensive end position in the three front,” he said. “I’m pretty versatile. I can move from the big guy, I’m pretty powerful, I can move on my feet pretty well.”

He also was named All-State and Academic All-State as a junior.

Academics were an important contributing factor for Cwynar, who listed Notre Dame’s combination of strong academics and athletics as a major factor in his decision to commit so early.

“I just made a decision and I knew that there’s no really other school, so I didn’t want to waste any other school’s time or waste my time so there’s no reason to wait,” he said.

For Frank, Cwynar proved that Brown can be successful in bringing in new talent to run his 3-4 defense. Although recruiting coordinator Rob Ianello was most active in recruiting Cwynar, Brown was also heavily involved.

“He sure had a lot of positive things to say about Coach Brown and I think that’s a very good sign,” Frank said. “Not only for recruiting purposes, but it seems Coach Brown is doing a really nice job of reaching out to these kids and getting them excited about Notre Dame’s defense.”