The 2014 Notre Dame season is on it's way with the recent completion of National Signing Day.
Some noteworthy items from NSD, the NFL Combine and dates to remember:
National Signing Day Recap:
From the February 2 story "National Signing Day", of note were a few recruits that remained possible commits for the Irish that leaned in the direction of other schools..My how things pan out when least expected or even heard of.
4/5 star Ju Ju Smith eventually signed his letter with the Trojans. The California prospect would have been a nice fit into the Irish defensive backfield and some suggested this was a hit for the needed area. But within a few weeks came the news of Florida Gator transfer and former Irish prospect Cody Riggs and the possibility of his landing in South Bend-which eventually will become reality as Riggs will now enroll in the summer and will be eligible to play in 2014.
Riggs played in 40 games at Florida, starting 26 at both cornerback and safety. He brings to the Irish career stats that include 107 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, an interception, a forced fumble and two pass break-ups.
The biggest news on NSD for Brian Kelly and Irish faithful was the commit of 2 top end players: Daniel Cage at defensive end and linebacker Kolin Hill.
Hill-who flirted with Texas late in the recruiting process after Charlie Strong moved into the head coaching spot- will eventually morph into a Cat position at linebacker-when his raw talents are harnessed. Early comparisons to Prince Shembo type abilities are attached to the Texas recruit.
Cage capped a good class already for the defensive line. But his addition alone fills a need and adds some 'hype' as the nations number 15 overall DT. Up until his fax was received, many were of the mindset Cage would sign with Michigan State. Some late efforts by the Irish staff proved worthy, alah Bob Diaco's 4:00 a.m. move and late sway of Ishaq Williams from Penn State.
Overall the Irish finished with a solid group of defensive prospects, a great crop of offensive lineman and receivers that will start soon enough.
NFL Combine Notes:
Stephon Tuitt has been removed today from timed runs and other on field drills with a toe injury that will require surgery. His recovery time is expected at around 6-8 weeks and should place him ready to compete during Notre Dames Pro Day.
Runningback George Atkinson elevated himself more than any other player for the Irish contigent at this years combine. Times of 4.39 and 4.4 respectfully in the 40 yard dash placed Atkinson overall as a top 10 back on the weekend.
Prince Shembo ran equally well and according to Mike Mayock, finds himself as a 4th to 5th round pick- when he earlier was projected as a player in the undrafted status catagory.
Dates to note:
Spring Practice will officially get underway Monday.
Blue and Gold Game- April 14