Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Long-distance Dedication | by Pat

Barely two weeks after the Class of 2007 was officially wrapped up, the Class of 2008 welcomed its first recruit with the commitment of Mike Golic, Jr. The son of former Irish star Mike Golic, Junior might have set the record for long-distance recruiting calls when he called Coach Weis while on a class trip in Italy and committed to ND from the shadow of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Golic, a 6'4, 260-lb lineman from Connecticut is projected as either a center or possibly defensive tackle for the Irish and joins incoming freshman Brian Smith as another legacy son of a former Irish player. The Irish team usually has a few sons of former collegiate players on the roster -- Maurice Crum, Jr. and Dwight Stephenson, Jr. come to mind -- but it's great to get kids with such direct ties to previous Irish squads. And while Connecticut isn't exactly a hotbed of high school football, ND's last two recruits from the Constitution state, John Sullivan and Asaph Schwapp, have turned out to be very productive players. Golics high school coach, Mark Tyler, is very high on his 1st Team All-State junior and expects him to have plenty of success in college.

"He's very tough and very athletic for a kid his size," Tyler told me. "He's got great feet, everything they look for in a center."

Tyler said Golic will have no problem filling out to as much as 300 pounds in the next couple of years. He wants to come into Northwest's camp in August at 280. Golic was a captain as a junior, which Tyler said is very rare at Northwest. Tyler described him as a great leader and hard worker in the weight room and on the field. "Everything he does is first class, really, top-notch."

"Offensive linemen nowadays, they want these guys to be able to bend at the hips and at the knees and at the ankles, and he's very flexible," Tyler said. "He does all that very, very well. He's got real quick feet and he knows how to get position. He's very smart. He helps make all our calls on all our line plays and actually our plays in general. He and the quarterback, they switch plays right at the line of scrimmage."
Golic Jr's only other college offer was from Connecticut, but he had recently traveled to Florida's Junior Day and according to his coach was receiving interest from schools like Michigan, Virginia, Boston College, and Penn State. But just like his father, who was the first commitment in the recruiting Class of 1981, Golic, Jr. decided to end the recruiting process early and become ND's first public commitment.
"He's done," Golic Sr. said. "I told him, if you're going to commit somewhere, you make sure you're ready. Your word has to be your word.

"He said, 'This is it for me.'"
As the co-host of the Mike and Mike in the Morning show on ESPN Radio, Golic Sr. had his son phone into the show and talk about his commitment, which you can listen to here if you have ESPN Insider capabilities.