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Football recruiting: Weis’ first signing class nearly complete

Mike Gilloon | Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Charlie Weis’ first recruiting class as head coach is almost set.

Wednesday is National Signing Day, and Notre Dame has 14 verbal commitments ready to formally commit. There are also a handful of undecided players that have Notre Dame on their final lists and should announce their intentions tomorrow.

The highest-profile undecided Irish recruit is Lawrence Wilson. One of the top defensive end prospects in the nation, Wilson decommitted from the Irish after the firing of Tyrone Willingham but now has his choices trimmed down to Notre Dame and Ohio State.

“It’s hard to say where he’ll go,” Mike Frank of Irisheyes.com said. “It’s about 50/50. He keeps battling back and forth between Ohio State and Notre Dame.”

The other two uncommitted recruits that Notre Dame has a shot at are tight end Erik Lorig and offensive lineman Brian Roche. Roche has narrowed his choice down to Louisville and Notre Dame, but Frank believes the Irish will more than likely sign the 6-foot-5, 280-pound offensive tackle.

“I think Notre Dame has a really good chance at him,” Frank said. “He really likes coach Weis.”

Lorig is rated the eighth-best tight end in the nation and will choose between Notre Dame and Stanford.

Of the 14 verbal commitments, Evan Sharpley is the lone quarterback. The Scout.com four-star player from Marshall, Mich. will have the opportunity to throw to a couple of receivers in D.J. Hord and David Grimes. Hord is arguably the most highly-touted of the Irish verbals. The Kansas City native was named Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year while making 36 receptions for 560 yards and six touchdowns his senior year at Rockhurst Jesuit High School. Scout.com lists him the 12th-best receiver in the nation.

Two Scout.com four-star offensive linemen, Paul Duncan and Michael Turkovich, have verbally committed to the Irish. Duncan rejected offers from both LSU and Oklahoma before choosing Notre Dame. He is expected to play offensive tackle after playing both tackle and tight end in high school and is listed at 6-foot-6, 288-pounds.

Hoping to avoid the secondary problems that plagued them last season, the Irish have picked up verbal commitments from four defensive backs. Cornerback Kyle McCarthy is expected to sign Wednesday along with three safeties – Ray Herring, David Bruton and Kevin Washington.

Rounding out the probable defensive signees are defensive tackles Derrell Hand and Patrick Kuntz and linebacker Scott Smith. On the offensive side Asaph Schwapp is the only fullback verbal commitment while Joey Hiben is expected to sign with the Irish as a tight end.