I just completed a recruiting trip through New Jersey, western Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh and Illinois seems to be everywhere while Notre Dame seems to be virtually nowhere, which certainly isn't the way it used to be.
First of all, I just met what I think is the No. 1 player in the nation in the class of 2012. Rushel Shell, a 5-11, 213-pound running back from Tony Dorsett's old high school, Hopewell in Aliquippa, Pa., will be a sophomore next fall.
Shell has 4.4 speed and is the best player in Pennsylvania right now. He has size, speed and strength and reminds me of LeShean McCoy, who was a second-round pick in this year's NFL draft. Shell said he grew up as an Ohio State fan. But every major program will offer him before he makes up his mind.