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Rudolph set to verbally commit

Chris Khorey | Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Kyle Rudolph, a 6-foot-7, 235-pound junior tight end from Elder High School in Cincinnati is expected to announce his verbal commitment to Notre Dame today.

Rudolph would become the fifth verbal commitment for Irish coach Charlie Weis’ 2008 recruiting class, joining defensive tackle Sean Cwynar, wide receiver John Goodman and offensive linemen Braxton Cave and Mike Golic, Jr.

Mike Frank, who covers Notre Dame recruiting for Irisheyes.com, compared Rudolph to current Notre Dame tight end John Carlson. Like Carlson, Rudolph is a standout on the basketball court as well as on the football field.

“[Kyle] is an outstanding athlete,” Frank said. “He’s a tall, athletic kid with great hands.”

Frank said Rudolph is faster than Carlson, though the current Irish tight end is 25 pounds heavier than the prospect.

“He’s going to have to put on some weight,” Frank said. “We’ll see if he can keep that speed.”

Players cannot sign binding letters of intent until February.

Rudolph has his senior year of high school in front of him, and Frank said that another year in the weight room would help him prepare for college football. He said Rudolph could enter college as heavy as 250 pounds.

Rudolph is considered one of the top prep tight ends in the nation and was rated the top overall prospect in the Cincinnati area by Ohio High magazine. He would join an already deep roster of young tight ends at Notre Dame, including current rising sophomores Konrad Reuland and Will Yeatman and incoming freshman Mike Ragone.

“Coach Weis loves tight ends, especially if they can get [down the field],” Frank said. “Guys that can get past the linebackers really open up the vertical passing game.”

Frank said Weis’ success in recruiting tight ends has been a product of the production of Notre Dame tight ends over the last two years – specifically senior John Carlson and former Irish standout Anthony Fasano, who is now with the Dallas Cowboys.

“If you continue to put guys in the NFL and you continue to throw to the tight end the way Weis does, kids realize there are a lot of opportunities at Notre Dame,” Frank said.