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Chris Martin, 6'4", 225lbs, 4.65/40, OLB/DE 5-Star

Position: Outside linebacker/Defensive End
High School: Oakland (CA) Bishop O'Dowd
Rivals: 5-Star
Scout: 5-Star
Rivals Rating:6.1
ESPN Evaluation

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Notre Dame is the 8th Ranked School for Getting Rich

Talk about a recruiting advantage. Notre Dame can point to its stellar graduation rate, CFA awards, top 3 business school, successful alumni and team GPA as advantages, but Forbes magazine just came out with cold hard facts to complete the picture. Measured in dollars, Notre Dame was the only major football school (I suppose you could call Stanford a major football school *wink*) in the top 10 in Forbes' list of Top Colleges For Getting Rich with UC Berkeley being the only other major football school in the Top 20.

The Irish finished far ahead of many Ivy Leagues schools and were just two places behind Harvard and one behind UPenn. Sorry Urban, no Florida on the list. That's one tradition you can't steal and these aren't facts you can twist. You have to, literally, earn your way onto the list.

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ND Takes Recruiting Title

It didn't take an MIT mathematician to know that Alabama's recruiting title rested on fuzzy math. The Tide signed 32 players in February which gave them the number one overall class in total points on both Rivals and Scout, but also put them over the scholarship limit of 85... 11 players over the limit.

Everyone knew the Tide was going to have attrition from that class and now it's happened. Two players, four and three star recruits Melvin Ray and Destin Hood, chose professional baseball.

Three other players, four star recruit Devonta Bolton, four star recruit Kerry Murphy and three star recruit Brandon Lewis are ineligible.

That attrition easily knocks the Tide down below or even with the Irish, who've had zero losses because Notre Dame vets recruits thoroughly before signing them, making Notre Dame number one in both average recruit ranking and overall point rankings assuming the math holds. The 2008 recruiting class is Notre Dame's first number one class since Lou picked grass nervously off the sidelines.

On the field performance has to follow, but there's no doubt that the young talent base is quickly building in South Bend.

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Notre Dame Recruiting on a Roll: The Fox and the Bull

No it's not a new South Bend pub, though we could use one. Thursday, Notre Dame landed linebacker Dan Fox and today the Tennessean is reporting that the Irish will land stud offensive lineman, Alex Bullard over Florida, Tennessee, Alabama and Michigan to name a few of his many offers.

"It's a good fit for me," Bullard told the Tennessean. "I liked the smaller campus, smaller classrooms and just how prestigious a school they are. Especially with Tennessee, it was a tough decision. I felt like me and Coach (Phillip) Fulmer had a relationship. But at the end of the day, Notre Dame was the best place for me."

You could say it’s all in the genes for Bullard because his father, Louis Bullard, was an offensive lineman for Jackson State in the 1970s and he was drafted in the fifth round of the 1978 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. Bullard is a very important get for the Irish. Here's ESPN's scouting report on him: "BULL"ard is exactly that as an offensive lineman that is dominating at the point of attack. Even though you would like to see him an inch or two taller, he shows the ability to play either guard or tackle at the next level. Comes off the football with power; gets into defensive lineman quickly with jolting blow delivery with the hands and outstanding leg drive."

The 6-4, 218lb Fox was recruited at linebacker and a short look at his video shows the Irish landed a very good athlete with the ability to play in space and cover. Fox is the type of linebacker that gives you a lot of flexibility. That combination of height, speed, athletic ability and ball instincts is a rare commodity.

"They see a very athletic young man who plays a major role in three sports," his coach told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "When he's able to concentrate on just one sport I think he'll be 240-245 pounds in the next few years. He was being recruited east coast to west coast."

6'4", 245lbs and can cover... sign me up.

Here's Fox's ESPN evaluation:
"Fox is a big safety at 6'3" and 215 pounds. He also could play outside linebacker. His biggest asset is his timing on the blitz. He gets off on the snap and makes penetration into the backfield. He does a good job of shedding blocks and rarely gets knocked off his feet. Fights to get to the football; gives good effort. Shows the ability to go up for the interception and has soft hands. Has decent speed and athleticism. Needs to work on his tackling; has a tendency to not bring his legs with him."

Fox's youtube video is below.

Fox will team with Carlo Calabrese at linebacker in a 2009 class that is rapidly gaining momentum.


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Harrison Smith to be Irish

The 6'2", 205 safety stolen out of the cradle of the Vols not only clocked a sub 4.4 40, but he has natural football skills. Smith told Scout, "Awareness is probably my best strength. I can read what's going on and what people are doing around me." Those who have seen his film confirm his speed and his instincts, a rarity for so physically gifted an athlete.

Smith and huge Irish target Chris Donald both finished behind Irish recruit Golden Tate for Mr. Football in Tennessee. According to Scout's free page,
he recorded 61 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, five interceptions (two returned for scores), three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries. On offense, Smith ran for 1,312 yards and 17 touchdowns on 155 carries. He also caught 32 passes for 446 yards and six touchdowns; he bench presses 305, squats 385 and has a 36" vertical jump. Smith reports a 3.7 core GPA, 28 ACT and an 1850 SAT.
So he's smart, too.

Rival Maryville High coach George Quarles offered up a strong compliment for Smith, "Harrison Smith is - and I love the guys we have from Maryville - but Harrison Smith is the real deal, I think," Quarles said on the News Sentinel Sport Page radio show. "He's super talented."

WBIR interviewed Smith earlier this month.

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