Since Mo Crum decided to stay for a fifth year, a lot of talk around the message boards has been centered around the team next year and who should go and who should stay. Irish Glory did a very good piece on the 7 players that are eligible for a fifth year (Mo Crum, Terrail Lambert, Justin Brown, Junior Jabbie, Anthony Vernaglia, Darrin Bragg and Leo Ferrine). Well I’m here to lay out a few detail missing from some fans brains, along with some insight on how things might shape up.
If we have the scholarships available, Weis will ask the guys to stay a fifth year. Simple as that. He stated as much back in August when he handed out multiple scholarships to walk-on players. He thinks the numbers will start to be more in line starting next year. Translation: 85 scholarship players means 85 scholarship caliber players.
Back in July when Steve Filer committed to Notre Dame, the Irish had their full load of NCAA allotted scholarships accounted for 2008 and it would take away one spot for a potential fifth year guy. Since then ND has had 3 transfers (Jones, Reuland, and Carufel) and two commits (Gray and Floyd). This then means that ND is now sitting on its 85 and any recruit committing from here on after would eat up a spot for those fifth year players. As of right now, Weis would have a spot for all 7 players if ND didn’t receive another commit for the 2008 incoming class.
I believe there are only 6 potential commits for the Irish left that they have a legitimate chance at getting their pledge. Trevor Robinson (OL), Deion Walker (WR), Jonathon Baldwin (WR), Kenneth Page (OL), Gerrel Robinson (ATH/WR), and Chris Harper (ATH/WR/QB). Of these prospects I believe the Irish will land no more than 3 of them. Which ones? I don’t know, but for arguments sake, let’s say Trevor Robinson, Gerell Robinson, and Kenneth Page. This of course means that ND can only get 4 of the 7 potential fifth year players back. If that is the case, look for Ferrine and Bragg to definitely be out. The other guy is on Charlie’s list and it should be between Vernaglia and Jabbie. Their least need will be the next guy out. ND is loaded in numbers at LB and RB, so it could go either way.
Some of you are calling for just about all of the 7 guys that could potentially return, to be gone. This is as stupid as it gets. If they stay, they do nothing but good for the program. They take away 0 scholarships for the 2009 class and provide MUCH needed depth and leadership for what is still a young team. And another tidbit. Tom Lemming has mentioned that he sees up to 5 guys transferring at the end of the season. He has provided no proof as something like that is more of a gut feeling. However, if some guys do defect, any scholarships that they leave behind will be available to those guys that want to return for a fifth year. And if that is the case, Weis will want them to return. It’s a matter of numbers.