Notre Dame's recruiting has gotten a big lift with commitments from defensive end Stephon Tuitt of Monroe, Ga., and twin brothers George and Josh Atkinson of Livermore, Calif., whose father was an All-NFL standout with the Oakland Raiders. It elevates coach Brian Kelly's class of 2011 from No. 10 to No. 6 in the national sweepstakes.
Tuitt, a 6-6, 260-pounder, ranks No. 77 in the nation. He chose Notre Dame over Georgia Tech. He has the build of an NFL defensive end and has great physical skills. He is the type of player that the Irish desperately need to bolster their defense.
George Atkinson, a 6-2, 175-pound wide receiver, is the No. 83 prospect in the nation. He visited the Notre Dame campus for last week's Michigan game and chose the Irish over Oregon and other West Coast schools. He is a big-time receiver, one of the best in the nation.
Josh Atkinson is a 6-0, 180-pound cornerback who has been timed in 4.4 seconds for 40 yards and 10.6 for 100 meters. He has great speed and instincts. He chose Notre Dame over USC, Oregon and Washington.
They are big catches for Notre Dame. Both have 10.6 speed for 100 meters. They will add great speed to a team that needs speed.
Kelly's class could get even better if he is able to land commitments from two other priorities, running back Savon Huggins of Jersey City, N.J., and offensive lineman Antonio Richardson of Nashville, Tenn. Richardson is the No. 20 player in the nation--only three other offensive linemen are rated ahead of him--while Huggins is rated No. 50.