It’d be inaccurate to say that any of Notre Dame’s current 2013 verbal commitments are happy about Irish head coach Brian Kelly interviewing with the Philadelphia Eagles this week. It’d also be inaccurate to say that any of them were happy to hear the news of Alex Anzalone’s decommitment from Notre Dame and pending enrollment at Florida.
Still, at least some of the Irish pledges feel like they understand why Kelly did what he did and believe he’s doing it for the good of the program in the long run. The only understanding they have for what Anzalone did is that he was never fully onboard with the Irish anyway and they might be better without him.
Whether or not Anzalone’s decision really had anything to do with Kelly’s interview is debatable, but what isn’t is the fact that the Pennsylvania linebacker obviously had some reservations about Notre Dame beyond the head coach
Anzalone was scheduled to be one of six prospects to enroll at Notre Dame on Monday. Instead, he’ll be enrolled in classes in Gainesville.
Meanwhile, Irish Sports Daily spoke directly with four of the other five early enrollees and a source close to the fifth. All five recruits – quarterback Malik Zaire, wide receivers James Onwualu and Corey Robinson, tight end Mike Heuerman and offensive lineman Steve Elmer - have their bags packed and are excited to be heading to South Bend this weekend, which they’ll be doing whether or not Kelly signs a contract extension by that point.
Several other members of Notre Dame’s current recruiting class have also come out and either publicly stated their intentions to stick with the Irish via social media or gave ISD those assurances since the Anzalone news broke on Thursday.
Linebackers Doug Randolph and Jaylon Smith assured Irish fans that they’ll be sticking with Notre Dame regardless of Kelly’s future on Twitter.
“There is no need to worry about a decommitment coming from me or anyone else I have talked to about it,” Randolph said.
Smith said, “I’m still a Domer,” even if Kelly leaves.
Running back Greg Bryant, offensive lineman John Montelus and defensive end Jacob Matuska posted similar statements on their Twitter accounts.
Wide receiver Torii Hunter Jr., cornerback Cole Luke and offensive lineman Mike McGlinchey each sent text messages to ISD that they’re sticking with the Irish as did several others.
Cornerback Devin Butler says, “I’m Irish until the end.”
“All Irish here,” offensive lineman Colin McGovern said.
“I’m all Irish,” receiver Will Fuller added.
"Still Irish Baby," offensive lineman Hunter Bivin said.
Defensive lineman Isaac Rochell said he’s still committed, but did acknowledge his frustration.
Linebacker Michael Deeb said, “I committed to Notre Dame, not a coach. I’m Notre Dame 100 percent.”
Recent safety commit Max Redfield said simply, “I’m all in.”
It’s clear that whether or not Kelly ends up being a part of Notre Dame’s future, the nucleus of the 2013 recruiting class will be.