SportsCrack Blog

Friday, July 30, 2010


So much for my prediction of Aaron Lynch being the next public verbal commitment to Notre Dame. Today Anthony Rabasa, a defensive end from Miami, FL who has received offers from Miami, Florida, and Florida State, pulled a somewhat stunner and has picked Notre Dame according to the Miami Herald.

Columbus defensive end Anthony Rabasa didn't need more than
three days in South Bend, Indiana to realize he'd found the right
place to go to college.

Rabasa, a 6-3, 235-pound defensive end, told The Miami Herald
Friday he had committed to Notre Dame University. Rabasa, a first
team All-Dade selection last year, had 80 tackles and 10 sacks to
help Columbus win a district championship.

"I got up here and immediately I was blown away by the
atmosphere up here,'' said Rabasa, who arrived at Notre Dame on
an official visit Wednesday. "I love it. We're by Chicago, a
great city like Miami and around here the people are all about
Notre Dame football.''

Rabasa said he visited Miami, Florida State and Florida. But
after his three days in Notre Dame, he said he probably would not
take his remaining visit.

Rabasa, a 3.0 student, said he was excited to play for new
Irish coach Brian Kelly, and a defensive scheme that will allow
him to broaden his skills on defense.

"This is it for me,'' Rabasa said. "They have a whole new
defense they're planning to run and it's going to be great
because it will allow me to be more than just a pass rusher. I
know this is the place where I want to be.''

I want to make love to Brian Kelly and his staff right now. Notre Dame just pulled a kid out of Miami at a position (defensive end) that is a huge need that they usually never fill. With another Florida defensive end in Lynch expected to announce his decision for Notre Dame tomorrow in South Bend it is as clear as day that the Irish are making a huge push for some of the best recruits in the South. All this despite having 3 consecutive awful seasons and a new coaching staff and if there were any doubts Kelly would have a hard time recruiting big time athletes...well...he has quickly extinguished those flames.

Rabasa is a 3 star prospect with a five star offer list. LSU and Nebraska were just some of the numerous other schools who offered the explosive defensive end. He should be able to compete for immediate playing time once he enrolls in 2011. Here are some highlights of Rabasa...


Notre Dame picked up another huge commitment today with the decision of 4 star tailback Justice Hayes out of Michigan to wear the Blue and Gold in 2011. Hayes is the #5 rated all-purpose back by and the #15 running back by and is expected to excel in Brian Kelly's spread offense. He's a small type of back with good cutbacks and elusive feet who has excellent hands and should catch plenty of passes out of the backfield.

Hayes is a huge get for the Irish with seniors Armando Allen and Robert Hughes both graduating after this season. The rest of the tailback depth is redshirt freshman Cierre Wood (#6 rated RB by, junior Jonas Gray(#4 rated RB by, and true freshman Cameron Roberson(#17 rated RB by As you can see the Fighting Irish will have plenty of talent at the tailback position but all of them are unproven at the collegiate level. Kelly loves to rotate his tailbacks in his quick strike offense so he can get fresh legs and Hayes will definitely provide a change of pace when it comes to his leaping ability. Check out this highlight where he leaps over three defenders...

Hayes is now the 13th commitment in Brian Kelly's first recruiting class at Notre Dame. He is the first offensive skill position player to commit in the class (TE Ben Koyack is on offense but not really a skill position) and is also tied for the highest rated prep player with Koyack and offensive lineman Matthew Hegarty. Kelly's current 2011 class consists primarily of linemen which if you have watched Notre Dame football for the past 10 years has been lacking in numbers and talent. Kelly and his staff are changing those numbers quickly.

So who is next for Notre Dame recruiting? Aaron Lynch, that's who. Lynch is a 4 star defensive end out of Florida who is visiting Notre Dame for the second time this weekend. He is another must get for the Irish. Expect him to commit soon. Lynch is a big time player with offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Ohio State, and Florida among many others. In my view he would be the biggest get for this class because the Irish have always had a hard time getting top notch defensive linemen. Especially out of the talent rich state of Florida.