Originally written July 11, 2012 on isportsweb.com:
Alex Anzalone is the latest Irish recruit to commit. With a majority of last year’s starters either graduating or moving on the NFL after this past season, and a dearth of inexperience on this year’s depth chart, head coach Brian Kelly and the Irish have a major need to restock this off-season. Here’s a look at the recruits who have committed to date (please note commitments not finalized until National Signing Day or later): - Jaylon Smith, OLB (Ft. Wayne, IN) – 5-star (Rivals.com), 4-star (ESPN.com); committed 6-2-2012 - Alex Anzalone, OLB (Wyomissing, PA) – 4-star (ESPN.com, Rivals.com); committed 7-8-2012 - Colin McGovern, OT (New Lenox, IL) – 4-star (ESPN.com), 3-star (Rivals.com); committed 3-24-2012 - Hunter Bivin, OT (Owensboro, KY) – 4-star (ESPN.com, Rivals.com); committed 3-24-2012 - Isaac Rochell, DE (McDonough, GA) – 4-star (ESPN.com, Rivals.com); committed 6-7-2012 - Malik Zaire, QB (Kettering, OH) – 4-star (ESPN.com, Rivals.com); committed 3-25-2012 - Devin Butler, CB (Washington, D.C.) – 4-star (ESPN.com), 3-star (Rivals.com); committed 4-4-2012 - Mike Heureman, TE (Naples, FL) – 4-star (ESPN.com, Rivals.com)l; committed 4-26-2012 - John Montelus, OT (Everett, MA) – 4-star (ESPN.com, Rivals.com); committed 4-21-2012 - Rashad Kinlaw, ATH (Galloway, NJ) – 4-star (ESPN.com), 3-star (Rivals.com); committed 3-26-2012 - James Onwualu, ATH (St. Paul, MN) – 4-star (ESPN.com), 3-star (Rivals.com); committed 3-14-2012 - Mike McGlinchey, OT (Philadelphia, PA) – 4-star (ESPN.com, Rivals.com); committed 3-25-2012 - Michael Deeb, ILB (Plantation, FL) – 4-star (ESPN.com), 3-star (Rivals.com); committed 6-29-2012 - Steve Elmer, OT (Midland, MI) – 4-star (ESPN.com, Rivals.com); committed 9-17-2011 - Danny Mattingly, ATH (Spokane, WA) – 3-star (ESPN.com, Rivals.com); committed 6-26-2012 - Corey Robinson, WR (San Antonio, TX) – 3-star (ESPN.com, Rivals.com); committed 3-28-2012 - Jacob Matsuka, TE (Columbus, OH) – 3-star (ESPN.com, Rivals.com); committed 3-7-2012 Of particular note at this point in time is the commitments of both Jaylon Smith and Alex Anzalone, one of which will most likely be Manti Te’o's heir apparent. Smith is the higher rated of the two, but Anzalone is bigger of the two, and has the better inside run support skills. Also of great importance are the offensive line recruits as 4 of the 5 projected starters for this year’s squad are seniors (the other, Christian Lombard, is a junior). The Irish will also be losing a lot of depth in the defensive backfield following this season as well, and will need to focus there as they have not yet garnered a commitment from either the cornerback or safety positions. And though I expect Tommy Reis to keep his job at quarterback this season, those responsibilities will most likely shift to Gunner Kiel next year, and they will need to get him more weapons to develop with. Some key targets to keep your (Irish) eyes on: - Vernon Hargreaves III, CB (Tampa, FL) – 5-star (ESPN.com, Rivals.com) - MacKensie Alexander, CB (Immokalee, FL) – 5-star (ESPN.com), 4-star (Rivals.com) - Laremy Tunsil, OT (Lake City, FL) – 5-star (ESPN.com, Rivals.com) - Ricky Seals-Jones, WR (Sealy, TX) – 5-star (ESPN.com), 4-star (Rivals.com) - Robert Foster, WR (Monaca, PA) – 4-star (ESPN.com, Rivals.com) - Leon McQuay, S (Seffner, FL) – 4-star (ESPN.com, Rivals.com) - Priest Willis, DB (Tempe, AZ) - 4-star (ESPN.com, Rivals.com) - Josh McNeil, TE (Durham, NC) - 4-star (ESPN.com, Rivals.com) - Tim Williams, DE (Baton Rouge, LA) – 4-star (ESPN.com, Rivals.com) - Eddie Vanderdoes, DT (Auburn, CA) – 4-star (ESPN.com) Follow me on Twitter @expertfan1
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