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Recruiting: Flowers enjoys visit to Notre Dame

Bill Brink | Friday, November 13, 2009

Despite the fact that Ricky Dobbs and Vince Murray, Navy’s proverbial big guns, blew holes in Notre Dame’s armor and plunged it into the depths, the Irish pulled off one victory last weekend.

Marquis Flowers, a running back and safety from Goodyear, Ariz., came away from his official visit very impressed with the Irish program.

“I think that they did a really good job with him,” said Mike Frank, a Notre Dame recruiting analyst who runs the ESPN-affiliated Web site irishsportsdaily.com “Obviously the game didn’t turn out like they’d hoped but Marquis really enjoyed his time at Notre Dame. I think it really opened his eyes.”

Flowers, at 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds, has rushed for 1,024 yards and 13 touchdowns on only 103 carries at Millenium High School in Goodyear. He also has 49 tackles, two interceptions and a blocked field goal on defense.

Flowers is also considering USC, UCLA, Arizona and Arizona State.

Frank said Notre Dame did three things successfully to impress Flowers: make him feel wanted, show he could fit in and make him feel comfortable. Still, Frank said, Flowers will take official visits to other schools before deciding.

His father accompanied him on the visit.

“His dad is very pro Notre Dame and I think he likes a lot of what he saw as well with Marquis,” Frank said. “… I think [the Irish] are definitely the team to beat right now.”

Shocking considering the manner in which Notre Dame lost, 23-21, to Navy Saturday, its second loss at home to the Midshipmen in three years. But freshman linebacker Manti Te’o, who visited for last year’s loss to Syracuse on Senior Day, chose the Irish, so luring a recruit in after a loss remains doable.

“I think the most important thing is they let the recruit know that this is the future, and ‘look at the talent they brought in the last two classes and look at what we have,'” Frank said. “‘Obviously we’re having a much better season. We just need a couple players to get us over the edge.'”

The problem with a loss like this one, Frank said, is there is no way to explain what happened — it is what it is.

“It’s just a game where all kinds of bad thing happen,” Frank said. “You fumble, you trade turnovers, false starts. It seems almost like an unrealistic.”

The fact that half the alumni already have visions of Urban Meyer, Jon Gruden or Brian Kelly dancing in their heads hinders the process. The rumors circulating around Irish coach Charlie Weis’ job status may have already hurt the program’s recruiting, Frank said.

“If there weren’t all these uncertainties I think Notre Dame would have a lot of commits right now, big time players,” he said.

Yet all is not lost.

“Really the best thing that Charlie Weis can do is beat Pitt at this point,” Frank said. “That will give a lot of people with a lot of uneasy feelings some reassurance that last week was a blip in the radar.”

For more on Notre Dame recruiting, check out Mike Frank’s irishsportsdaily.com.
E-mail Mike at mikefrank18@sbcglobal.net and tell him The Observer sent you.