With a week left to go until National Signing Day, the countdown is ON! The Fighting Irish have 22 verbal commitments right now, and all is quiet on the western front. Meaning: all 22 should/will fax their letters of intent next Wednesday.
The Irish do, however, have a chance to lock in two more recruits. DE/LB Keith Wells and RB Milton Knox are visiting the Irish this weekend. Last minute commitments from big name recruits have not been the forte of the Irish in seasons past. However, both prospects seem genuinely interested in the Irish and are not just throwing the Notre Dame name around for “status” as some have in the past.
Milton Knox is committed to UCLA, but had been working feverishly to improve his test scores and receive an offer from Notre Dame. He did just that. Just a short while ago, Knox got the offer he has been working for and scheduled an official visit with the Irish. Knox committed to the Bruins back in June, but after a coaching change and a very disappointing season for the Bruins, Knox has been looking to go elsewhere. I think it is between ND and UCLA although I will never rule out Florida when the clock is ticking. A pledge from Knox would solidify the running back corps for years to come. At least at tailback… fullback is a whole other nightmare.
Keith Wells is a former verbal commit to Florida State. In short, he didn’t like what he saw from the program and decommitted from the Seminoles and isn’t considering them at all. Wells has been long considered an Ohio State lean. After the Buckeyes, Tennessee is right in the mix. It has been, basically, those two schools out in front for Keith’s signature. That changed recently, when the Irish told Wells they would offer the 4 star prospect if he made a visit to South Bend. So although Wells is not officially offered a scholarship right now, he will be offered on Saturday. Wells would be a very welcome addition to the Irish front 7 after Notre Dame was spurned by Kapron Lewis-Moore and was unable to get Datone Jones qualified. Wells can play the weakside DE or at an outside linebacker spot. He is a good athlete and very versatile. I believe Wells has the Buckeyes on top right now with the Volunteers right on their heels. However, his desire to seek out the Irish and truly see what Weis and the program has to offer is very intriguing.
In the end, the only thing that really matters is the future. If we lock up both or one of the two prospects, Notre Dame has a very likely chance of finishing with the number one recruiting class for this year. And while that is very enticing to be able to say that, it doesn’t change the fact that Notre Dame already has its best class in over 20 years. The balance of the class is phenomenal and is filling up true needs at needy positions. The countdown is on, and I’m counting every second.