With four verbal commitments in the class of 2014, the Notre Dame coaching staff is turning up the heat on this year’s recruiting class. Numerous additional offers have recently been issued as several new names have popped up on recruitniks’ radars. And the Irish coaching staff has put considerable focus on recruiting both offensive linemen and tight ends. Injuries last year and in the incoming 2013 recruiting class thinned Notre Dame’s numbers at offensive line and the staff has responded by sending out numerous scholarship offers at that position. Also targeted has been tight end. While the position seems reasonably well-stocked, don’t be surprised to see the Irish take two there with the emergence last season of numerous two tight end sets. Last week Irish Sports Daily spoke to recruits at both positions that recently received Notre Dame offers. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Sports Daily?
Dalton Schultz, TE, 6-6, 230, Bingham High School, South Jordan, UT picked up his first scholarship offer during the fall of his sophomore year in high school. However, his performance in the NLA Elite 7 0n 7 tournament in Las Vegas a year ago really opened recruiters’ eyes and numerous scholarship offers have followed. Notre Dame is one of the latest schools to get into the mix for Schultz’s signature when they stepped up to the plate with a scholarship offer just a couple of weeks ago.
“I’ve been coaching for 29 years, we’ve put a lot of kids into college, and he might end up being the most recruited kid we’ve had,” stated Bingham head coach Dave Peck. “He has offers, obviously from Notre Dame, Nebraska offered him this past week, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Stanford, just about all of the Pac 12 schools, Utah, BYU, Utah State.”
And Schultz’s recruitment has possibly just scratched the surface. Even defending national champion Alabama has shown significant interest in the Utah tight end, sending their offensive coordinator to his school during one of Alabama’s bye weeks during last year’s season.
Peck understands why Schultz is garnering such attention.
“He’s got a 3.9 grade point average, great student,” said Peck. “He’ll go knock the crap out of you. He’s got a mean streak when he’s on the football field. If we had a record for pancakes, he’d probably have the record, but we don’t keep track of that.”
“I think he’s a guy that could be playing on Sundays someday. He’s got really good ball skills. He catches the ball well for 6-6, 230. He runs well for a big kid. He’s the real deal.”
According to Peck, Schultz is very excited about all the recruiting attention, including that from Notre Dame, but isn’t in any hurry to make a decision.
“He’s already telling me that he’ll take his five trips and then decide,” explained Peck. “He’s not going to be an early commit. He really wants to go see the campuses and make his decision. I think if he stays in Utah, I think he’ll go to the University of Utah. Stanford is really high on his list, but that was before Notre Dame and Nebraska and some of the others offered.”
Sometimes new names, like Schultz, are truly new names to Notre Dame fans. Other times new names are really old names to Irish fans. That was the case last week when the Irish coaching staff issued a scholarship offer to Alex Bars. Bars, OL, 6-6, 290, Montgomery Bell Academy, Nashville, TN comes from a football playing family. His two older brothers attend the University of Michigan and Penn State University respectively but his father, Joe Bars, played linebacker for Notre Dame in the early 1980’s. For long time Irish fans, Bars is not a new name in Blue and Gold.
“I’m sure it helps,” said Marty Euverard, Bars’ head coach at Montgomery Bell Academy of his star offensive lineman’s legacy connection to Notre Dame. “He’s got a lot of brothers that play and his dad played so I’m sure it helped.”
Of course, what has helped Bars’ recruitment more than anything was his outstanding junior season.
“He had a great year last year,” stated his coach. “He’s a big kid. He’s a legit 6-6 plus. He’s got great feet. He’s a really good athlete to be as big as he is. I think that’s the biggest thing.”
The talented Tennessean has piled up offers from a veritable who’s who of college football elite. In addition to Notre Dame he holds offers from Stanford, Michigan, Penn State, Ohio State, Tennessee, LSU, Florida, Florida State, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Nebraska, among others. The Irish will have a true dog fight on their hands to earn the legacy’s signature. Still, his coach believes his superstar lineman was excited about the Notre Dame offer.
“He’s excited Euverard stated. “He’s excited about Notre Dame and of course all of the offers he has. He’s pretty quiet about everything. He’s a very humble kid taking it all in stride. He doesn’t give any indication of where he’s going to school or anything, but I’m sure that means a lot to him.”
These two summaries represent just a sample of the Notre Dame football recruiting information available each week on Irish Sports Daily.