Willingham wanted Brian Brohm for QB, even though Brohm was a near lock for Louisville. When Brohm finally committed, Willingham was left with no Plan B. Fortunately, Chinedum Ndukwe and his dad convinced Willingham to give Brady Quinn an offer.
Victor Abiamiri was chosing between Maryland and Notre Dame, and I think Maryland had the edge. However, one of their coaches gave him some cash, they self-reported the infraction, and pulled his scholarship offer.
Ambrose Wooden was Abiamiri's teammate at Gilman, and committed to ND on signing day with Abiamiri.
Zbikowski was considered an ND lock even before Willingham was hired. Yet Willingham's lousy recruiting effort still caused the recruitment to drag out until signing day.
As I recall, Ryan Harris pretty much fell into his lap as well.
I don't think any coach in college history has ever had a more fortuitous series of events conspire to create a decent class as Willingham had in 2003.