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Despite tough loss, Irish win two recruits

Douglas Farmer | Monday, September 13, 2010

Future gains

Despite the loss to Michigan, Notre Dame reportedly earned two recruiting commitments from one family. Twins George and Josh Atkinson committed to Notre Dame on Sunday, according to Rivals.com.

The Atkinsons’ official visit continues through Monday, and their commitments bring the Irish recruiting class to 18 members already.

Josh, a 6-foot, 180-pound cornerback, long favored Oregon, but the lack of depth in the Notre Dame secondary could provide him a chance to play sooner than at Oregon.

George, a 6-foot-2, 194-pound athlete, could play at running back or receiver, fitting a role similar to the role Percy Harvin fit at Florida in years past, Irish recruiting expert Mike Frank said before the weekend.

“I think Notre Dame envisions him in a Percy Harvin role — you put him at wide receiver or running back,” said Frank, who heads the online ESPN-affiliate Irish Sports Daily. “The main thing is you just want to put the ball in his hands, because he has the ability to score from anywhere.”

Three other four-star recruits were on campus for the weekend: safety Wayne Lyons, defensive end Stephon Tuitt and offensive tackle Antonio Richardson.


Like father, like son

Making his first career appearance in an Irish uniform, junior quarterback Nate Montana completed eight of 17 pass attempts, and rushed for 23 yards on four carries.

Montana became a part of the first father-son quarterback tandem in Notre Dame history to complete passes for the Irish. Joe Montana, an NFL Hall of Famer, played for Notre Dame from 1975-78.

Close calls

Notre Dame and Michigan should be getting used to close games with late lead changes. Half of their last 20 meetings have been decided by five points or less, and seven of the last 25 games have come down to the final two minutes. Four of those seven — 1980, ’94, ’09 and ’10 — were decided in the final seconds.

Starting success

Freshman receiver TJ Jones, who enrolled early in the spring, became the first Notre Dame receiver to catch a touchdown pass in each of his first two games. Jones and quarterback Dayne Crist hooked up for a 53-yard score in the third quarter, the longest score of the season for the Irish until Crist found tight end Kyle Rudolph for a 95-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.