Saturday, May 28, 2005

Schmidt Happens | by Pat

The number of known verbal committments rose to seven with the most recent verbal pledge from running back Luke Schmidt. Schmidt is a 6'3" 230lb bruising running back/full back from Jasper, Indiana who last year finished first in the state in rushing yards with 2592 yards and second in scoring after notching 41 touchdowns and 3 two-point conversions for a total of 252 points. Checking the state records, his rushing total is good for 14th all-time. (Quick aside. Check who's 5th all-time in Indiana career receiving yards.)

The addition of Schmidt to a backfield already consisting of speedy Munir Prince and versatile James Aldridge gives this recruiting class a loaded group of ball carriers, each with a slightly different skill set. Notre Dame has told Schmidt he will fill a fullback/tight end/H-back role, which basically means he will be lining up in multiple spots on offense. Adding to his versatility, Schmidt has lined up at wide receiver on occasion (which leads me to belive he doesn't have bricks for hands) and according to his coach will line up at linebacker this fall. And to top it all off, Purdue was recruiting him for defensive end as well as tailback.

Schmidt also seems to fall into another category that Weis has been focusing on with this recruiting class: speed. So far this spring Schmidt is in the top ten in his area in the 100M dash with a time of 11.12 seconds. Considering he probably outweighs the other sprinters at meets by 30-50 pounds, that is a very impressive number. Reaching back to high school physics, if force = mass times acceleration, then I can't wait to see Schmidt with a full head of steam hit a cornerback. I hope cleat marks wash out.

There are video clips of Schmidt in action on both Blue & Gold Illustrated and IrishEyes, so if you are members of each you can play armchair scout and see why schools such as Oklahoma, Purdue, and Louisville had already offered him a scholarship. Michigan was another school that had an interest in Schmidt, but due to a low number of scholarship offers had wanted Schmidt to come to a Michigan summer camp before officially extending him an offer.

A few months back, I don't think any ND fans would have guessed that recruiting would be nearly 1/3 done before June. I think it's safe to say that we can cross "unfamiliarity with college recruiting" off the list of negatives about hiring Charlie Weis.