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Football Recruiting: Linebacker gives verbal commitment

Chris Khorey | Friday, April 13, 2007

Just days after Notre Dame received a verbal commitment from Pennsylvania prospect David Posluszny for the recruiting class of 2008, another linebacker has committed to the Irish.

Anthony McDonald, 6-foot-3, 220-pound junior at Sherman Oaks-Notre Dame High School outside Los Angeles, gave his verbal to Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis Wednesday.

Mike Frank, who covers Notre Dame recruiting for Irisheyes.com, said McDonald had been excited about the Irish from the very beginning of the recruiting process.

“The first time we talked to him he was very excited about Notre Dame,” Frank said. “Notre Dame was the school he was most interested in to begin with. As soon as the offer came, it didn’t take very long [for him to commit].”

Frank said McDonald likes contact and should be an excellent run stuffer.

“The thing that I like about this kid is that he’s a very physical player,” Frank said. “He loves to hit and he’s got a real good feel for the position. He recognizes things very quickly.”

McDonald also possesses a linebackers instinct – a knack for being in the being in the right place that is hard to teach, Frank said.

“He looks like a natural linebacker, not an athlete playing linebacker,” Frank said. “He really understands what he’s supposed to do.”

McDonald’s father Mike played at USC, but despite showing interest in Anthony, the Trojans did not offer him a scholarship.

“They only need one or two linebackers in their entire class,” Frank said of USC. “He was a guy that they liked, and they were recruiting him, but they haven’t offered too many guys at linebacker. That was the one thing holding Southern Cal back.”

Scout.com lists Boston College, Ole Miss, Nebraska, North Carolina State, and Oregon as having offered McDonald.

McDonald is Notre Dame’s seventh commitment for next February’s signing class. Three of the verbals – McDonald, Posluszny, and Woodstock, Ill.. defensive tackle Sean Cwynar – play in the defensive front seven, a key need for the Irish this year.

In the past two recruiting seasons, Notre Dame has had just two verbal commitments each by the time the second week in April rolled around.

In the three years before that, under former coach Tyrone Willingham, Notre Dame never received a verbal commitment before July.

Frank credited part of the improvement in early recruiting to the hard work of new Irish defensive coordinator Corwin Brown.

“Corwin Brown has done an outstanding job,” Frank said. “He’s kept in constant contact with Anthony, telling him ‘you’re my middle linebacker.’ I can’t remember anyone who works as hard as him at landing these guys.”

Posluszny is the younger brother of former Penn State standout Paul Posluszny. Frank said the two linebackers have very similar styles.

“David reminds me a lot of his brother,” Frank said. “He’s got a real knack for playing linebacker. And he does a heck of a nice job in pass coverage.”