The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



Wolke and Crum join 2008 class

Pat Leonard | Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Notre Dame football coaches are batting .500 recruiting quarterbacks.Quarterback David Wolke became the tenth verbal commit on Monday with a statement from his home in Smyrna, Tenn., while top-rated Kentucky signal caller Brian Brohm chose his hometown Louisville over Notre Dame, Kentucky and Tennessee on Tuesday.Quarterback Darrin Bragg of San Jose, Calif. will visit Notre Dame this weekend. Bragg could also commit, as coaches have said they plan to sign two quarterbacks.Wolke committed just a day after the Irish received their ninth commitment from Florida linebacker Maurice Crum, Jr. While not rated high in recruiting reports, Wolke – who bypassed offers from Kentucky and Wake Forest – reminds one expert of a former Irish quarterback.”[Wolke] is a blonde-haired Matt LoVecchio,” ESPN recruiting expert Tom Lemming said in comparison to the former Irish and present Indiana Hoosier quarterback. “He doesn’t have an overpowering arm, but he has decent running ability.”Wolke, at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, threw almost every down from the shotgun at Smyrna High School. A four-year starter, Wolke completed 53.8 percent of his passes for 6,232 yards and 54 touchdowns.” [Irish coaches] said they’ll play the best player,” Wolke said. “I’ll have the opportunity to compete in camp.”Crum is a 6-foot, 210-pound linebacker who received honorable mention all-state in his junior year at Tampa Bay Tech, making 100 tackles – 13 for a loss – and three interceptions. He runs a 4.6 second 40-meter dash and is the son of former Miami Hurricane great Maurice Crum, Sr.”Crum is solid and quick to the ball,” Lemming said. “He’s a bit undersized, but he can grow.”Lemming rated Crum the 25th best inside linebacker in the country.The linebacker recorded 70 tackles, four sacks and one interception for a touchdown his senior season, even though a bruised thigh kept him out of two games.Crum made the decision to attend Notre Dame on Sunday morning during his visit and has cancelled a scheduled visit to Tennessee on Jan. 23.”The overall visit, everything went well,” he said. “When I was meeting the coaches and players, I knew this was the place I wanted to be.”Crum claims the attitudes of the players encouraged him.”Talking to everyone and looking in their eyes, I could see fire in their eyes,” he said. “Talking about [last season], I could see they felt pain.”Crum’s size, however, will most likely prevent him from having an immediate impact. Wolke is not rated high and barring anything extreme will most likely compete for a backup role.The top priority for Coach Tyrone Willingham and the Irish had been Brohm, who waited longer than expected to announce a decision. But as Irish Insider columnist Mike Frank predicted Monday night, “Not many kids will stand in front of a hometown school and say they’re going somewhere else.”ESPN reported that Brohm spoke with Louisville coach Bobby Petrino on Saturday and waited for Monday to announce his decision.Now, Notre Dame hopes visits in the next two weekends will attract their top remaining players – Georgia running back Darius Walker and New Jersey linebacker Brian Toal.Toal has two remaining visits and has not decided whether or not to travel to South Bend.