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Recruiting: Two commits visit Notre Dame for opener

Douglas Farmer | Thursday, September 2, 2010

Since landing four recruits in the last weekend of July, Notre Dame’s recruiting efforts haven’t exactly stalled, but they certainly are not the top item on Irish coach Brian Kelly’s priority list.

With only two committed recruits visiting campus this weekend, that is unlikely to change, Irish recruiting expert Mike Frank said. Frank expects that trend to continue throughout the season.

“I think the staff wants to try and get more of the official visits not during the season,” said Frank, who runs the online ESPN affiliate Irish Sports Daily. “They would like to get them up for the games of course, so they can see that game experience. But part of the issue is you just don’t get a lot of time to spend with the players when you have a football game. You don’t get the time to try to get to know the families or really develop a relationship.”

Defensive lineman Tony Springmann and kicker Kyle Brindza will watch the season-opener from inside Notre Dame Stadium this weekend. Springmann, measuring in at 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds, will bring a blue-collar attitude to the Irish.

“Springmann is one of your lunch-pail guys,” Frank said. “You build championship teams around lunch-pail guys. You need your great athletes who can do a lot of things, but lunch-pail guys do the dirty work and make it difficult for an offense.”

The Fort Wayne, Ind., native has committed to the Irish and will join a 2011 class only including two other defensive lineman currently.

“He is a guy who will be very stout against the run,” Frank said. “He plays a very physical and aggressive brand of football.”

Brindza will bring a cannon leg to Notre Dame, possibly settling the annual battle for the starting kicker position early.

“He’s one of the best kickers around,” Frank said. “He has a monster leg and can consistently kick 50-yard field goals, and he’s accurate.”

Brindza will need to overcome one challenge that faces all high school kickers.

“There is obviously a change when you move from kicking off a tee to not kicking off a tee, and some guys don’t quite adjust to that,” Frank said. “I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t end up as one of the best kickers in the country.”

The slow week on the recruiting trail does not foreshadow slow recruiting overall for Notre Dame, which has already secured four commitments from the ESPN 150.

For more on Irish recruiting, check out Mike Frank’s irishsportsdaily.com. E-mail Mike at mikef[email protected] and tell him The Observer sent you.