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Cornerback Luke commits, Anzalone still Irish

Chris Allen | Thursday, November 8, 2012

Despite the Irish having one of the top 2013 recruiting classes in the country for several months, it was widely speculated by recruiting analysts that Notre Dame needed to pull in a commitment from another cornerback to round out the class. That commitment came Nov. 1, as four-star cornerback Cole Luke from Chandler, Ariz., became the newest member of Notre Dame’s 2013 class.

Luke, the No. 34 cornerback in the 2013 class according to ESPN, joins Rashad Kinlaw and Devin Butler as the newest additions to the Notre Dame cornerback corps. Irish recruiting analyst Mike Frank said Luke fits the mold of what Notre Dame is looking for in a corner.

“He fits the mold they are looking for in terms of corners,” said Frank, who runs the ESPN-affiliated Irish Sports Daily. “At six feet tall, he’s a taller corner. He’s not overly big at this point, but he has the frame to add weight. He’s just a skinny kid right now. Once he gets the opportunity to add weight and size, he’ll be able to use that size against the receivers he’ll face.”

Frank said Luke would arrive on campus as the most advanced technical cornerback in Notre Dame’s 2013 class.

“He’s probably the best prepared in the class. He really plays defensive back and focuses on that, it’s where he excels,” Frank said. “Kinlaw plays quarterback too and plays on the offensive side of the ball. Butler also plays both ways. I would say Cole is more technically sound, and I think he has a lot of potential.”

Luke’s commitment continues a recent pipeline of top skill players from Arizona to Notre Dame. 2012 No. 8 overall recruit and current Irish wide receiver Davonte’ Neal, is from Scottsdale, Ariz.

“Notre Dame’s idea is to recruit nationally, and get the best players it can get. A lot of the best skill players come from the West and South regions,” Frank said. “Right now, USC has its issues with the NCAA and Oregon is really the only dominant team in the West. So that area is ripe for the picking.

Anzalone reaffirms commitment
The 2013 Irish class received a boost Monday when four-star linebacker commitment Alex Anzalone reaffirmed his commitment to Notre Dame on Twitter. Anzalone had recently been rumored to be wavering in his commitment to the Irish after a successful visit to Florida. The 6-foot-3, 231-pound recruit from Wyomissing, Pa., visited Notre Dame the day after the Pittsburgh game due to a conflict and reaffirmed his commitment the next day. Frank said meeting with the coaches and recruiting staff helped reaffirm the linebacker’s commitment to the Irish.

“I think Alex just wanted to be where he was most comfortable with the coaches who were going to coach him,” Frank said. “It’s tough for an 18-year old kid. I think after his commitment, Florida really came in and turned up the heat. I think they put some doubt in his mind.”

With Luke and Anzalone securely in the fold, Frank said the Irish are going to focus on three players to finish up the 2013 class: cornerback and No. 5 overall prospect Mackensie Alexander, safety and No. 36 overall prospect Max Redfield and defensive end and No. 95 overall prospect Alquadin Muhammad. Frank said the focus on top defensive recruits is the continuation of a trend in Irish coach Brian Kelly’s recruiting plan.

“You look at guys who are making plays now – Stephon Tuitt, Louis Nix and Manti Te’o – and they were all top recruits,” he said. “The reason you go after five-star or high four-star guys is they usually end up playing to that level.”


For more on Notre Dame recruiting, check out Mike Frank’s irishsportsdaily.com Email Mike at [email protected] and tell him The Observer sent you.

Contact Chris Allen at [email protected]