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Recruiting: Decommitment strikes slow week

Douglas Farmer | Thursday, October 14, 2010

This week Notre Dame has already felt one effect of landing 20 verbal commitments before October — one of those commitments has decommitted.

And this weekend, the Irish will feel another effect of all those commitments — very few, if any, visits from recruits to see the game against Western Michigan.

The de-commitment came from offensive lineman Jordan Prestwood Tuesday, and his main reason for this decision was that Notre Dame is far from his native Florida, Irish recruiting expert Mike Frank said.

“I think the big problem he is having right now is the distance from home thing,” said Frank, who runs the ESPN.com-affiliate Irish Sports Daily. “He is just not sure he wants to go that far from home … As the day gets closer and closer to happening, that is when you sit there and wonder is this exactly what I want to do.”

Prestwood, the No. 128 recruit in the nation according to the ESPN top-150, could still end up signing a scholarship with Notre Dame, but Frank said he does not expect him to do so.

“I know Notre Dame has been trying to solidify the situation, but it seems he is pretty set on visiting other schools,” Frank said. “I can jus tell you in the past that when kids start visiting other schools after committing, very rarely do they end up at Notre dame. It has happened occasionally, but not that often.”

With Prestwood seemingly on his way out of the 2011 recruiting class, the Irish will look for another offensive linemen to fill the void. Most of the top recruits committed to other teams awhile ago, which will make the search difficult.

“If there is anybody left. That is the issue, they have to go find somebody who is still out there,” Frank said. “There are just not a lot of names out there that [the Irish] are currently recruiting. They thought they had their spots already taken.”

One name Frank mentioned is that of Nick Martin, the younger brother of Irish sophomore tackle Zack Martin. Nick has committed to Kentucky already.

The other dilemma the Irish face with a nearly-filled recruiting class is that few recruits will visit this weekend.

“There’s really nobody that is coming in,” Frank said. “There might be a couple big-name guys but I don’t know for sure they are coming in. It will be a very small group.”

While Western Michigan may not be a glamorous opponent, Frank insisted the scheduling is not the reason recruits do not flock to campus.

“The only things I think recruits care about are, are you winning and where do I fit into your plans,” Frank said. “They want to play for a winner. Every major school in the country is playing a team like Western Michigan, and chances are they are playing four or five of them.”

In fact, Frank said this game could leave as much of an impression on some recruits as a high-profile as a game against a traditional rival would.

“To show a recruit, ‘Hey look, we’re getting this thing turned around — look how we pounded Western Michigan.’ That needs to be a statement that you can make too.”

For more on Notre Dame recruiting, check out Mike Frank’s irishsportsdaily.com.