Thursday, June 28, 2007

Sergeant Slaughter | by Pat

Showing no signs of slowing down, the Irish recruiting momentum continues to chug along. This week, Georgia defensive back Jamoris Slaughter -- a first ballot addition to the all-name team -- publicly committed to Charlie Weis and Notre Dame. The 9th defensive member and 16th overall in the recruiting class of 2008 is now the second defensive back in as many weeks to commit to ND.

“It was the best school for me,” Slaughter said. “I know they can help you out on and off the field and academically. They have good alumni support. And they wanted me to come in and play early.”
Slaughter chose the Irish over offers from LSU, Georgia, Michigan, Oklahoma, Alabama, and many others. On the recruiting sites, Slaughter is a 4-star recruit listed as the 16th best safety on Scout and the 6th best safety and member of the Top 250 on Rivals. Here's a free highlight video of him in action with commentary from a Rivals reporter. Over on ESPN, he's a member of the Top 150 watchlist.

At 6'0, 180 pounds Slaughter primarily plays safety for his high school in Georgia, but will be considered for cornerback at Notre Dame. Both he and Robert Blanton have the size to disrupt the wide receivers and bring a more physical aspect to the Irish pass defense. It will be interesting to see if this indeed is how they are used as Coach Corwin Brown works to install the 3-4 defense. At the very least, Slaughter is a versatile player that will help out somewhere in the defensive secondary and he doesn't seem to mind where.
“I really don’t have a preference,” he said. “I’ll play wherever they need me most.”
One of the noteworthy things about landing Slaughter is that ND has once again gone into Georgia to land a recruit. ND has always had some some success recruiting Georgia, but getting four players in the last two years -- and four defensive players at that -- is a credit to the hard work that Coach Bill Lewis has been doing at Notre Dame. Corwin Brown certainly deserves kudos for the yeoman's job he's been doing with recruiting this year, but Coach Lewis has done a fantastic job the past few years recruiting the southern states. Of course, Charlie's visit to Slaughter's high school back in May seems to have gone well too. Weis also impressed Slaugther apparently during their conversations with each other.
“I really like him,” Slaughter said. “He cares about you a lot. He’s not worried just about football. He cares about your education. He wants to make sure you get to class.”

Looking at the past two full Charlie classes and the one currently in progress, ND has signed and/or received commits from players in 25 different states. And the only states with as many or more players than the four from Georgia are California (7), Florida (6), Illinois (6), Ohio (5), Indiana (5), and Pennsylvania (4). That's a pretty good mix of traditional recruiting grounds and talent-rich states.

Of course, Slaughter does seem to be one of those recruits who didn't seem adverse to leaving his home state. In fact, his favorite team was more Michigan than Georgia growing up.
Slaughter surprised himself by choosing Notre Dame over his beloved Wolverines.

“I was never a big Irish fan,” Slaughter admitted. “I was always a big Michigan fan. I’ve been a Georgia fan too, but I mostly like Michigan.

“I just thought this was best for me.”