Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Pollard's Switch-a-roo and Tyler Too

There would've been a post commemorating the back-to-back announcements from the recruiting trail at least a day ago, but in this day and age of insta-blogging you've got to stand out with a clever headline. After a day and a half of thinking, this was the best I could do.

So rather than strain my credulity to the last, I think it's best to let the most recent members of the class of 2012 speak for themselves. First up, Cajon, CA cornerback Marlon Pollard:
I got the vibe from everyone - from the players, coaches, students. It's a perfect blend of academics and athletics. When I was there, it just felt right. I can't really explain exactly what made it right, but it was.
The aura of Notre Dame strikes once more.

With Pollard on board, Tuesday morning brings us Fort Wayne, IN tight end/athlete Tyler Eifert:
It’s about how great the school is and the football tradition they have there,” he said. “It’s just an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Definitely with John going there and Fort Wayne being such a big Notre Dame town, it definitely influenced me.
The John he's referring would be John Goodman, recently enrolled freshman wide receiver, making it two commitments from Indiana powerhouse Bishop Dwenger in the past 12 months, yet another welcome pipeline into the ND family.

Pollard, measuring at 6'1", 160 lbs. with "everything needed to be an outstanding cornerback", according to Tom Lemming, had been a UCLA commit since July of last year - when the Bruins were coached by Karl Dorrell. Even with the arrival of Rick Neuheisel and the retention of DeWayne Walker (the defensive coordinator who'd primarily recruited him), Pollard had long been pegged into the "soft" verbal category, and it was a one-day side trip to South Bend after attending a football camp in Chicago that made all the difference for him. As you may recall, the Irish landed a similar big-time commitment after an "on-the-whim" summer visit in the last recruiting cycle. Unlike that situation though, all indications are that Pollard will stick with his word; when asked about if this decision should be considered final, he replied:
I'm done. I'm a hundred percent (committed).
Eifert had a similar reaction over a much shorter time frame. Offered last Wednesday, the 6'6", 220-lbs. athlete phoned in his decision Tuesday morning after receiving the blessing from his father Greg, an active Purdue booster and former basketball player under The Greatest Hair in All of Coaching, Gene Keady. Dad was supportive but wanted to let everybody know that family allegiance will shift with the passing sport seasons:
What is for sure is that the Eifert place on Lake Gage has taken down the Purdue flag and raised a new one straight from the Notre Dame bookstore.

“Hey, it’s my son,” Greg Eifert said.

“During basketball season, the Purdue one will be flying. Trust me.”

Eifert showed enough athleticism to go both ways full-time last season for Dwenger, earning All-State honors as a wide receiver while also playing safety. This fall he'll work primarily as a tight end. Where do the Irish project him?

Their tight ends have gone to the pros over the last couple of years, but I don’t know if I’ll play tight end there...I might play defense or I might play (wide) receiver, they’re not sure.

Eifert's measurables put him at a 4.62 in the 40-yd dash, which might be a little big and a little slow for a defensive back but place him right on par with a well-built, freakishly athletic player like John Carlson or 2008 freshman Kyle Rudolph. The tight end position may well be stacked for years to come at Notre Dame, but don't be stunned if Eifert is right there in the mix.


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