Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Come On Feel the Illinoise! | by Pat

The good news kept rolling in as ND landed their third public commitment in four days as Chicago-area defensive lineman Sean Cwynar became the fourth member of the recruiting class of 2008. He also he kicked off recruiting for the defensive side of the ball at a position of great need.

“I knew I’d come here, eventually. There was no reason to lead other schools on. I called about 50 coaches and told them, ‘Thank you for recruiting me, but I’m going to Notre Dame.”
Cwynar didn't bother to call Weis to commit. Instead, he drove to campus today to do it in person.

At 6'4" and 280 pounds, Cwynar has stated that ND plans to play him at a defensive end spot in the new 3-4 defense. He looks to have the frame to handle the defensive tackle slot, but Cwynar is very athletic for his size so the defensive end might be a better fit for his mix of size and speed. His high school played him at defensive end (and also right tackle) and it's not often you find 280-pound defensive ends in high school. It's even more rare to find 280-pound defensive ends who accumulate over 100 tackles in a single season, as Cwynar did as a junior (102 tackles, 17 sacks) on his way to a 1st Team All-State nomination. If you want to do your own evaluations of Cwynar, you can check out his free highlight videos here.

Fighting for Cwynar's commitment were Wisconsin, Oklahoma State, Michigan State, Virginia, Iowa, and a host of others. And while it's too early in the process for star rankings, rivals.com has Cwynar listed on their list of Top 250 recruits to watch. He's also no slouch in the classroom with a 4.2 GPA.

Another thing to note is that Cwynar is the third of four commits to explicitly mention conversations with new defensive coordinator Corwin Brown in recruiting updates. It makes sense for a defensive lineman to speak with his new coordinator, but if you follow recruiting, you'll recall that Rick Minter was rarely mentioned in testimonials from recruits in the past. Brown was also heavily involved in the recruitment of offensive players Goodman and Cave, so there's another big indication of his recruiting acumen. The fact that Goodman and Cave were seriously considering offers from Brown's alma mater, Michigan, might have had something to do with it too. His big test will be the performance of the defense in 2007, but so far Corwin Brown seems to be a huge asset in recruiting.

Back to Sean Cwynar. Unlike Golic, Cave, and Goodman, Cwynar didn't grow up a Notre Dame fan. But according to him, he's sold on the Irish now.
“I really wasn’t a follower that much,” he said. “But when you come here, you feel something special. It’s really unexplainable. The history and fan following is just amazing. I’m their first defensive recruit, so I’ll have an early opportunity to start, I’ll get an Ivy League-like education and be on TV every week. It’s really the whole package.”