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Football Recruiting: OL Goodman visits Notre Dame campus

Douglas Farmer | Thursday, September 1, 2011

Notre Dame’s 2011 season may begin Saturday, but the recruiting season began long ago. Because of that, only one recruit is officially coming to campus this weekend, as of Wednesday night.

lorida offensive lineman Evan Goodman will watch the Irish take on South Florida, Irish recruiting expert Mike Frank said.

“He is a big-time player, a guy who is real high on their list,” said Frank, who heads the online ESPN-affiliate Irish Sports Daily. “He is currently committed to Arizona State, where he has an older brother playing, but he wants to check out his other options.”

A slow opening weekend is not unusual, as high school students are just as busy at the beginning of the year as college students.

“The first weekend there just isn’t a whole lot of guys coming in,” Frank said. “It is [the recruits’] first or second games as well.

“You’ll start to see it for Michigan State or Air Force. USC will be the real big game, with at least 20 recruits coming in.”

Even once recruits start pouring in, Goodman will still be unique in many respects. Most of the visitors will be a bit smaller than the 6-foot-4 inch, 285 pound Goodman.

“Notre Dame is on a mission to find a lot of skill players,” Frank said. “When they mention skill, they are talking about running backs, defensive backs and wide receivers … You are looking for a lot of guys who could play a lot of positions.”

At this point, “a lot” does not rise above single digits. Frank calculates Irish coach Brian Kelly has seven scholarships left to fill in the class of 2012. If an injury were to arise, a player transferred, or if Kelly opted not to invite back certain potential fifth-year players, that number could rise. But, for now, seven recruits will likely join the 14 commits Kelly has already landed. Of those 14 commits, seven fall into the skill player category – two receivers and five defensive backs – as well as three offensive linemen, two defensive ends and two linebackers.

“Right now, I think the plan is to take one offensive lineman and then a bunch of skill guys,” Frank said. “It’s just priority versus who is available … If a big-time offensive lineman wants to commit [such as Goodman], they’ll take him. They aren’t going to hold out for a skill guy if they know they can get an elite offensive lineman.”

No matter what situations develop among linemen and skill players, one position remains satisfied, Frank said.

“I think they are sold on the quarterbacks they have on campus right now,” he said. “They have a lot of faith in [freshman] Everett Golson and [sophomore] Andrew Hendrix, and I think that says a lot that they aren’t taking another quarterback.”

That being said, a prized quarterback will certainly be a piece of next year’s recruiting class.

“It also gives them time to really find the right kind of guy in the 2013 class,” Frank said.