By Michael O'Brien

What does it say when Notre Dame lands the three top football prospects in the Chicago area?

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Taylor Bell on the Irish recruiting situation...

By obtaining oral commitments from defensive end Darius Fleming of St. Rita, linebacker Steve Filer of Mount Carmel and defensive lineman Sean Cwynar of Marian Central, according to recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CSTV, the Irish have demonstrated that they are "back in business as a force in Chicago and the Chicago Catholic League after a 17-year absence."

"Since 1990, when Notre Dame signed Bryant Young (Bloom), Oliver Gibson (Romeoville), Pete Bercich (Providence) and Brian Hamilton (St. Rita), all consensus All-Americans, they were content with losing kids to Illinois and Michigan. They didn't dominate the Chicago area as they had for years under coach Lou Holtz," Lemming said.

He credits Notre Dame's new-found success to coach Charlie Weis, who is proving himself to be one of the leading recruiters in the country; assistant coach Rob Ianello, the architect of the Irish recruiting plan; and new assistant Corwin Brown, a Julian and Michigan grad who has many contacts in the Chicago area.

Fleming, Filer and Cwynar are among eight top 100 prospects in a class that ranks No. 1 in the nation. Notre Dame has 19 commitments to date, including 16 in the top 200. Filer's cousin is former All-America running back Jerome Heavens, who starred at Notre Dame in the 1970s.

The class is so deep and talented that the Irish don't have room for highly touted lineman Garrett Goebel of Montini because they already have commitments from five of the best defensive linemen in the country.

But Notre Dame, which doesn't figure to field a nationally ranked squad this fall, still is looking for talent. Weis is in the mix for two of the top 12 players in the nation--defensive lineman Marcus Forston of Miami, Fla., and wide receiver Michael Floyd of St. Paul, Minn.

The Irish also are recruiting at least four other top 100 players--wide receiver Brice Butler of Norcross, Geo., running back Ryan Williams of Manassas, Va., offensive lineman Trevor Robinson of Elkhorn, Neb., and linebacker Etienne Sabino of Miami, Fla.

Robinson is an interesting case study. He already has committed to Nebraska but visited Notre Dame and Michigan last week.

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It tells me that Illinois must really stink!

It tells me they will underachieve for the next 4 or 5 years.

It tells me to follow the money

It tells me that you two knuckleheads should get off drugs and stay in school!

It means that we are finally getting back to where we were in the the late '80s. I could never figure out why we didn't go after Chicago hard as years past. Now if only Illinois basketball can recruit Chicago as well.


Two things to remember. One is that Lemming always says that ND does well in recruiting, even when they do poorly. I would take his opinion with a grain of salt. Secondly, Chicago HS football is average at best next to FL, CA, OH, TX and other top states in the country. Offensive linemen are usually in abundance; athletes that succeed at high D1 level are far and few between(Simeon Rice).

For all you people saying that Notre Dame's going to struggle or underachieve for the next four or five years is sadly mistaken Charlie Weis. This may be a down year but after this one's over with the recruits he's getting they will be in the hunt for a national championship in the near future.

We're back.

wow, lemming slurps Jabba the Coach. big surprise.

and what is with the 17 year absense hyperbole? didnt Holtz coach the domers until 1996? that was 11 years ago. so why did Holtz stop recruting the city then?

Not that Demetrius Jones was a big recruit or anything 2 years ago out of Chicago...

It may be the Illinois fan in me, but I still think he made the wrong decision to believe that Weis' pro-style passing offense would keep him as QB.

What it means is ND will beat Army-Navy-Air force-Marines-Indiana-and lose to Michigan or any other top 10 school, go to a BCS Bowl and get embarrassed again!!! OVERRATED... same with their Big fat ego-maniac coach.

What it says is that Illinois can't take Chicago kids for granted. That they have to work harder. I think that Coach Zook knows that and is doing better, Coach Weber is having a tougher time with the concept.

I agree with Sean Thomas. Also Mr. Wiess also said that he would not recruit anymore QB's after Demetrius Jones and Zach Fraizer but that wasn't true because here comes Jimmy Clausen.

Category: Number Please
a. How many bowl game losses in a row?
b. How many losses in a row to USC?
c. How many losses to Boston College?
Solution to (c)= Remove them from the schedule.

Darrel, check the schedule before you post! Notre Dame is playing BC this year.

St. Rita - Pray For Us!
If Notre Dame wants to compete they need to continue recruiting from our State CHAMPIONS....

Sounds like sour grapes from most of the Illini fans here! Sorry guys, you had your "sun will shine on a dogs ass" day last year on signing day! Just for the record, I would rather have the number one class this season in exchange for Benn and Martez Wilson too! You guys take them, your horrible facilities, horrible uniforms, below average and insignificant team, and terrible coach and we'll call it even!

Illinois is currently upgrading facilities to have the largest D1 weightroom in the world.

I'm pretty sure Nebraska has the largest weight room and some of the best facilities.

It means the top 3 Chicago prospects are going to a close school that's actually winning recently (and pretty much always).

No doubt we are on the up rise, however, ND plays all it's games on NBC. That's huge publicity...

There's a reason why ND has the number one class now...and had a great last 2. It's because the athletes recognize ND is on the rise and is their best bet for a ticket to play on Sundays. Recruits wouldn't be going there if they didn't believe in the program.

Tells us that ND is heading back to the top, 3 years in a row of excellant recruiting classes. As to ND always has a great recruiting class, see last two years of willingham, 58th and 61st. Great job Irish!

if chic football is average compared to fl, oh, tx, & ca. why is it that Steve Filer has been offered 37 scholarships and he is ranked as a 5 star player which goes without saying he is ranking in the top 100?

mmmm in response to you greg....chicago football was considered average by the other guy, because it only has one steve filer. fl, tx, ca, and oh have many

Mr. Strutter I did not post the blog about the schedule Bronzo did

ND Stinks!

Hey Darrel (or is it your other brother Darrel), get a clue before you post again.

ND plays BC this year and is 15-9-1 against U$C (including 14 games in a row without a loss) in the last 25 games.

Oh and when is your favorite conference going to figure out how many member universities it has??

First thing I see is that all of these guys are coming from a Catholic high school going and to a Catholic Univ. Tells me that meant something to them.
Filer had bloodlines, mentioned in the article.
The other 2 are D-lineman and UI brought in an outstanding DL crew last year. Playing time prolly meant more to Cwyner and Fleming.
I didn't read much into ND vs UI on this one. ND took some good kids that didn't see themselves playing into UIs immediate future.

Weis said he wouldn't recruit any quarterbacks the same year as Jones and Frazer, not that he would never recruit any ever again. You're an idiot. Should we only have 2 QBs on the roster?

illinois'e' has a joke of a football program

I don't care how much you can't stand ND, they are heading in the right direction. All 3 guys are top talent in all of the recruiting rankings. Ill-Noise isn't. 3 good guys will not make your team. Your QB isn't good.

BTW - When ND is in a bowl game, they are always the lower ranked team. They should lose and, unfortunatly, they have been.

boo hooo....looks like Illinois is gonna continue to suck for the near future. Oh well, you still have IU to beat in football, made you can enact some revenge against them before Eric Gordon lights you up for 40 in hoops! It's sad for you that ND will end up with more Big10 wins this year then Illinois will!

Weis did some good things with some very very mediocre/bad recruiting classes by Willingham. Sure there were some great college players in the mix but there wasn't much in the way of depth. Meyer turned down his dream job because he knew how much work there was to do and Florida was loaded. He walked into a winning situation. Weis didn't. Plus Weis didn't get to plug his kids into the offence yet. ND hasn't had back to back recruiting years like this since 86-87 and we all know what happened in 88. Bottom line is when ND is in the hunt its good for college football. Oh and by the way, there is no other place on earth that i would rather sign a 5 star LB from than Chicago!!!!!!!

I love the post from the guy who claims that Illinois will have the largest weight room IN THE WORLD, why not just call it the Galaxy? That is SUPER DUPER COOL, MAN. I can see it now: "Illinois weight room wins the BCS Championship by a landslide. This proves the fact that good players and poor coaching mean nothing, but size of weightroom is king in the land of meat head." Shouldn't you be more worried about your mascot problems at U of I and be too concerned with Notre Dame's gridiron prowess?

Hey ND fans. Let's save our energy for arguments with fans of a legitimate school. Illinois? Sure they have no idea what they are talking about, but just let them have enjoy their weight room and forget about it.

Don't be surprised if one of the three ends up decommitting before signing day.

Bronzo --

Drop the "r" and "n" from your handle. It's more accurate. ND plays the toughest schedules in the nation year in and year out, unlike Big 10 teams that play 6 MAC teams every year.

ND is rebuilding this year. After that, it will be tough for ND haters. They should all commit suicide.

I'm very tired of ND's losses to USC being a subject of ridicule. Sure, ND needs to end the streak. Clearly this is an embarrassment to the program, and I would imagine that CW would love nothing more than to defeat Poodle, seeing how it would probably mean a national title game for the Irish. But really, WHO HAS BEAT USC OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS?! You wouldn't give somebody a hard time for losing a fight to Chuck Liddell while poorly trained and drunk, would you? Nobody bore the grunt of SC's historical run more than ND. No matter how much of an underdog ND was in each game, SC wanted to pound the trademark into oblivion. And as we all know, the pain has been excruciating.

Here's to revenge to be sweet. Oh so sweet.

Every other program is jealous of Notre Dame right now because they are becoming a recruiting jugernaut

ND is a sleeping Giant- keep talking #$@%$- your DONE when he wakes!

Beware the IRISH


I will supply the rope-


"Category: Number Please
a. How many bowl game losses in a row?
b. How many losses in a row to USC?
c. How many losses to Boston College?
Solution to (c)= Remove them from the schedule."

Darrel. Being a ND fan I am used to my team being a lighting rod for flaming from ignorant people like you, but sometimes I HAVE to say something.

1. How many of those bowls did they have a chance in?
answer: few to none. We get invited to bowls because we make the most money and have the most fans not because we belong in them.

2. What is our all time record against USC again? nuff said.

3. What the hell kind of ? is that? We have a wining record against them if I am correct.

All of you ND haters are all ignorant and do not have the ability to look at the big picture.

For all the chicago'ins who are upset that ILL-inois can't pull the chicago recruits,let alone can't win.How about ND vs. ILL in your house with your refs(every year).It would help ND in recruiting and how bad ILL really is.

why waste time arguing UI vs. ND football?
thats like arguing northwestern vs. IU basketball.

In response to Darrel on July 25th.........get your so-called facts straight. Weiss promised he would not recruit another QB in the same class year as Frasier and Jones, which he didn't. Further, that year he had the chance to take Mitch Mustain after getting Frasier and Jones, but honored his committment and did not offer. Note that Clausen is in the following years recruiting class.

They are only the top 3 players in the Chicago area according to Lemming. Imagine that. He has been and always will be a ND homer. I am not saying that ND isnt putting together a good class, because they are. But here are some facts. Recent Ohio State commitment and Chicago area star Garrett Goebel is ranked the second best player in Illinois by both Scout and Rivals. That should tell you something about Lemming. Congrats to ND on a good class so far.

ND will not get Forston. He committed to the Hurricanes.

"They are only the top 3 players in the Chicago area according to Lemming. Imagine that. He has been and always will be a ND homer."


Notre Dame's 19-man class is currently rated as the number 1 class in the country for 2008 by Rivals, Scout, and ESPN. Lemming is not being a homer, he is reporting on the top class IN THE COUNTRY!!!

Hey Bob, lets dig a little deeper my friend. First off, I said ND's class is very good this year. Now, the true measure of a class isn't the amount of kids you sign, but the quality. Ohio State's class is ahead of ND's based on the quality of kids committed on both Rivals and Scout. ND's average is 3.79, while OSU's is 3.90 on Rivals and 4.20 to 4.00 on Scout. USC's class is also ahead of ND's on Scout.

And like I said, Lemming is the only one that has those other two ND committs ahead of Goebel. You do the math.

The "crying Irish" are using their big bucks to recruit. I still prefer Michigan, Florida, Northwestern or anyone else who plays them.

I have a deep hatred for the dome and all the hypocrites associated with it.

ND has the ability to turn high school All Americans in average college players. I would never send my kid to ND to play football. They will wind up this year 6-6 which means they'll be ranked 9th in the polls.

Who cares... Norte Dame and the Great Charlie Weis are the most talked about over rated team in the country. They havent beaten a top twenty team since Charlie Weis has been there but he is one of the highest paid coaches in football. WHY??? Last year they played one of the softest schedules in sports and still got a BCS bowl game. Playing Army, Navy, North Carolina and the Coast Guard goes a long way in turning a coach into a legend. Also why is Charlie Weis considered a good coach? For calling plays for a great quarterback (Tom Brady)he wasnt even the head coach. Wow!!! Norte Dame gets way to much press.


When was the last time ND won Bowl game???????? Or a game that mattered?????? Are going to tell me that they don't play Army-Navy-Air Force and the Marines? Go blow your own brains out Oh don't have any

I apologize to Darryl, it was Greg bell that made the remarks about me.As I previously stated Greg, WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME ND WON A BOWL GAME?????


It tells me that people from chicago think south bend is in Illinoise, it also says they watched more old movies that talked the Irish up than recent games , they prayed real hard and proberly payed the refs just to beat micican state.

I don't like Notre Dame or the University of Illinois. Northwestern is a better school in every respect except athletics.I think Chicago athletes going to Northwestern would assure them of greater futures but probably not in sports venues.

SOMEONE QOUTED THAT CHICAGO FOOTBALL IS AVERAGE AT BEST, I think division I schools are paying more attention to Chicago Public and Private Schools prospect, THERE HAS BEEN PERIODS OF TIME WITHIN THE LAST TEN YEARS WHERE DIVISION ONE COLLEGES LOOKED AT CHICAGO LAND PROSPECTs AS EITHER DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH OR DAMAGED GOODS and stayed away from recruiting these kids Chicago is still under recruited by Division 2 and Division 3 football programs across the nation, schools in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Missouri do an awful job at getting to DII and DIII caliber players from the Chicago land area, For every Steven Filer in the Chicago area there is 20 Joe Mays (NDSU) caliber players

ND would have taken Garrett Goebel in a HEART BEAT regardless of how many DL prospects they already have. GOEBEL was one of the ONLY DL that Def. Coor.Corwin Brown felt could play either DT or DE. ND was SHOCKED when Goebel informed them that he (GOEBEL) was no longer interested in the Irish. These are the TRUTHFULL FACTS of the Garrett Goebel recruiting process.

It helps to one the the general studies programs in the Chicago Area. Just like Michigan they can get any one in school and keep them eligible

These guys are all decent at best. I was the best running back the State hands down. 330yds in one game. I mean, ARE YOU SERIOIUS??!! Let's just say, the biddies were diggin me.

I wonder if these kids are ready to back out of their commitments after watching the 33-3 masterpiece under the Golden Dome. Whatever Charlie is doing isn't working.

The class is so deep and talented that the Irish don't have room for highly touted lineman Garrett Goebel of Montini because they already have commitments from five of the best defensive linemen in the country.

That is very interesting as Def. Coord. Corwin Brown called Goebel weekly all the way until signing day praying that Goebel would reconsider ND. Also Sean Cwynar has already been moved to OG due to his lack of quickness which Goebel took advantage of both times they played last the game DVD's...they DO NOT LIE!!

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This page contains a single entry by Michael O'Brien published on July 24, 2007 11:43 AM.

Steve Filer commits to Notre Dame was the previous entry in this blog.

Class of 2008 confusion continues is the next entry in this blog.

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