During the recent April 2nd Junior Day, Coach Weis received his first verbal commitment for the class of 2006. Munir Prince, a running back from DeSmet High School in St. Louis made the decision after meeting with Weis and watching the Notre Dame team practice in ND Stadium. Other schools vying for Prince's services include Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio State, Michigan State, Northwestern, and Kansas.
From stltoday.com, here's the scoop on Prince.
Munir Prince, DeSmetAnother testament to Prince's abilities is his finish in the 2004 AAU Junior Olympic Games (intermediate division), where he finished 4th in the 100m dash and 3rd in the 200m dash. If you look at his results at the 2004 Missouri State Track Meet, you'll see not only a 7th place finish in the 200m as a sophomore, but also some excellent times by another recent ND recruit, DJ Hord.
Vitals: 5-10, 170, junior
Notes: Despite struggling with injuries, the Metro Catholic co-player of the year (along with St. Louis University High running back Stephen Simmons) still rushed for 986 yards, caught eight passes for 126 yards and scored 11 touchdowns. He was credited with 21 tackles on defense, even though opponents went away from him most of the time. Prince was a first-team Class 6 all-state selection as a defensive back by the media. He will be one of the area's top players next season.
Prince is one of the earliest commits that I can remember, new coaching staff or not. Willingham's earliest commit was David Bruton, who committed on June 29th. As for Davie, I can't find any dates before 2002, where Bob Morton was the first to commit on July 24th. I believe Zac Kustoc committed during the Blue and Gold game to Holtz right before Holtz' final year but I don't know if anyone committed earlier than that.
With anywhere from 19 to 25 scholarships to give out this year, Weis appears to have an early start to recruiting this year. He has mentioned his desire to re-establish Notre Dame's recruiting base in the Midwest and among Catholic schools specifically. It will be interesting to see how this strategy is followed this recruiting season. I wouldn't be surprised to see Weis attempt to get early commits from local (meaning driving distance midwest) recruits to get a solid base of 5-10 before becoming more selective and canvassing the country for the best remaining at positions of need. This type of strategy will be extremely effective if Notre Dame can get off to a good start on the football field.
One of the two major concerns when Weis was hired was how he would react to college recruiting after spending most of this coaching years in the NFL. With the early commitment of Munir Prince and the numerous postive recruit interviews appearing on the rivals.com and scout.com networks, the recruiting concern is rapidly fading away.