Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Back on Track | by Pat

It was a drought that lasted nearly four months, but Notre Dame finally received another public commitment. Cincinnati tight end Alex Welch called up Charlie on Sunday and put an end to 109 straight commit-free days. Welch didn't waste much time, becoming the 4th public commit of the 2010 recruiting class only 10 days after getting his official offer.

"I called coach (Charlie) Weis and told him," Welch said. "He was excited. He said I made his Memorial Day weekend."
The 6'5" 225 pound Welch picked up his offer two weeks ago and despite a last minute offer by the home state Buckeyes, went through with his decision to commit after a weekend unofficial visit to South Bend.

In addition to the Ohio State offer, Welch had a pretty impressive offer list including Oklahoma, Florida State, Michigan, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Boston College, and many others. Rivals lists Welch as a 4-star recruit and the #10 tight end in the 2010 recruiting class. Scout gives Welch a 3-star ranking, but tabs him as the #7 tight end in the class. ESPN assigns Welch a ranking of 79, which is the same ranking they gave to previous tight ends Tyler Eifert and Joseph Fauria. If you want a refresher on what ESPN thinks a "79" constitutes, here you go.

Welch is another recruit with solid football bloodlines, and legacy ones at that, as his uncle is former ND star linebacker Steve Heimkreiter. Welch also hails from the same high school as current sophomore tight end Kyle Rudolph.
"Him being there is a plus," Welch said. "I can learn from him. But I made the decision on my own. I just thought personally Notre Dame is the best place for me. It's a place I can succeed."
Here are some youtube highlights of Welch. It's worth noting that there are plenty of highlights of him blocking in addition to catching passes, something that isn't always the case in tight end highlight films.

ND is probably done recruiting tight ends in this class as there are other needs and the tight end depth chart is finally getting back to being filled up top to bottom. Then again, if a top tight end recruit is interested and Kyle Rudolph keeps playing like he'll be a top NFL Draft pick after his junior year, ND might consider another one in this class. In all likelihood though it will just be Welch in this class. Here's what the depth chart will look like in 2010 when he shows up on campus.
Senior - Mike Ragone
Junior - Kyle Rudolph, Joseph Fauria
Sophomore - Tyler Eifert, Jake Golic
Freshman - Alex Welch
With a lineup like that, ND isn't going to stop throwing to the tight end anytime soon. Even better, ND won't be forced to sub in backup offensive linemen as pseudo-tight ends in multiple tight end formations.