Monday, June 29, 2009

Blake's Got a New Place | by Pat

The past few weeks haven't felt like the off-season with a steady stream of news, both good and bad. In addition to the Montana/Sharpley/Hendrix/Fauria news, ND picked up another two commits. First up we'll take a look at Thursday's newsmaker Blake Lueders.

The defensive lineman from Zionsville, Indiana committed to Charlie and ND two days after visiting campus and became ND's seventh member of the Class of 2010.

"I knew when I was there (Tuesday) Notre Dame was the place," Lueders said. "I just wanted to sleep on it and think about it for awhile and make sure I was right. I was. I'm happy with my choice.
At 6'5" 250 pounds, Lueders plays middle linebacker for his high school, but is looking like a solid strongside defensive end candidate and possibly even a defensive tackle if he keeps growing. The recruiting sites have him pegged for defensive end with Rivals labeling him a 4-star recruit, the #14 strongside defensive end, and #198 overall recruit. Scout also give Lueders 4-stars as the #18 overall defensive end. ESPN includes him in their currently number-free top 150 watch list. ESPN also has a copy of his highlight clips for those interested.

Lueders picked ND over offers from North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Wake Forest and finalists Stanford, Northwestern, and Boston College. Looking at the finalists, it shouldn't be a surprise that Lueders carries a 4.0 GPA.

Blake, a Class 4a All-State honorable mention player last season, first gained recruiting notice after his sophomore year of high school when he won the MVP at the Indianapolis segment of National Underclassmen Combine.
Lueders was the leader of the pack as he was the winner of the MVP award. The 6’5 232 lb Lueders ran an unbelievable 4.3 shuttle, had a 9’10 broad jump, and bench pressed 155 lbs 29 times. Lueders was very impressive.
Not to extrapolate too much from an underclassmen combine, but if could put up numbers like that as a high school sophomore, it sounds like Lueders will show up on campus physically ready to go from day one. And that is a good thing, because there will be possibilities for early playing time. Here's the scholarship breakdown for defensive end.

Fifth Year
Senior Junior Sophomore Freshman
Kallen Wade
Kerry Neal
Ethan Johnson

Chris Martin

Emeka Nwankwo*
K. Lewis-Moore*

Blake Lueders

There is no guarantee that Kallen Wade will be back for his 5th year in 2010. Ethan Johnson could be a fixture at the tackle spot by then and Nwankwo at 295 pounds is another tackle sized end. That leaves Kerry Neal, KLM, and the freshmen as prototypical defensive ends. Granted, Darius Fleming will still likely be a pseudo-defensive end despite now being listed as a strongside linebacker. Steve Filer might be tasked with rushing the passer from the outside too. But after coming up empty at end in the incoming freshmen class, there will be opportunity for Lueders and Martin to make an early impact in 2010.