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Football Recruiting: Roberson commits during visit

Matt Gamber | Thursday, September 10, 2009

As the Irish lined up in front of the student section to sing the Alma Mater after Saturday’s victory over Nevada, associate head coach Corwin Brown could be heard shouting at recruits Corey Roberson and Sean Parker, who were both just a few rows away.

“What are you going to do?” Brown repeated in reference to the high school seniors’ college choices, motioning toward the scene to his right – the victorious team swaying as one to “Notre Dame, Our Mother.”

Roberson answered Brown’s question with a verbal commitment to play for Notre Dame in 2010, and, according to Irish recruiting analyst Mike Frank, Parker could follow suit when he’s ready to make his college choice.

Roberson, a bruising tailback out of Newbury Park, Calif., committed earlier this week, and Frank said academics were a major factor in his decision.

“He was a guy who was very interested in Notre Dame’s academics – that was a big thing for him,” Frank said, noting Roberson’s other top choice was Northwestern. “He wanted to play big-time football, and just to get into that Notre Dame football environment, to experience that as a recruit is a very powerful thing.”

Frank, who runs the ESPN affiliate irishsportsdaily.com, said Roberson’s only concern entering his visit was his potential role with the Irish. Because of his size (6-foot-1, 215 pounds), Roberson would be a candidate to play fullback at the college level.

“Knowing he wasn’t just going to be a fullback blocking people, but a guy who’s going to get the football [sold Roberson],” Frank said. “Seeing how [Notre Dame] was using [James] Aldridge really made him feel more comfortable.”

Parker, a top safety prospect from Harbor City, Calif., is a player Frank said would likely take several more official visits, as he has offers from virtually every major program in the country. But Parker left South Bend very much interested in the Irish, Frank said.

“I think they did an outstanding job,” Frank said. “I would venture to say that if he had a little more concrete answer as to [how good Notre Dame will be this season], I think he might have committed – I think they did that well. There’s still some things up in the air, and the only way to make him more certain is to go out and win some games.”

Looking ahead, Notre Dame has a large number of high school seniors who have agreed to make official visits to campus at some point this fall. Of the remaining six home games, however, there is one that stands out in terms of recruiting importance.

“When you look at all the big-time players coming for the USC game, it’s really going to be a big weekend,” Frank said. “That’s just going to be a massive recruiting weekend, and it’s really important Notre Dame shows up and plays well.”