Rivals.com expert Mike Farrell stated in his weekly column ‘Inside the Mind of Mike‘ that, “Pennsylvania linebacker Alex Anzalone is going to become a Florida Gator, I feel very confident about that now…” Although this is not an earth shattering revelation, it is further confirmation that Notre Dame’s second best recruit will soon be a Florida Gator. This will leave Notre Dame scrambling to find another middle linebacker who can eventually replace Heisman contender Manti Te’o.
Anzalone originally committed to The Ohio State University in April before decommitting in earlier May after an incident during an unofficial visit. Anzalone then visited Notre Dame and Florida, his new top schools. He eventually choose the Fighting Irish because he wanted to follow in the footsteps of Manti Te’o and he liked the other recruits who were currently committed to the Fighting Irish. But between then and now, something has gone wrong.
What is Florida’s selling point to Anzalone? It is simple. Attend the school that your father graduated from and that your grandparents live close to. Come play in an equally as good defense in the best conference in the nation. A few other rumors have been tossed around as to what Florida has promised Anzalone but those are merely speculation and unfair to post. But, is there anything wrong with wanting to attend the same school that your father did? Furthermore, is there anything wrong with a father wanting his son to attend the same school that he did? Ultimately, the answer is no. Neither of these situations are wrong and it will be understandable if Anzalone breaks loose. Disappointing for Notre Dame fans but understandable.
This is only further complicated by the shakiness in the commitment of Linebacker Danny Mattingly. Currently, the Fighting Irish have one of the best Linebacker hauls in the nation with five commitments from elite players. However, two are threatening to shake loose. With Notre Dame’s recent recruiting momentum, it would seem that they could be easily replaced. But, Notre Dame only has one major target remaining on their recruiting board: Issac Savaiinaea. Savaiinaea likes Notre Dame and fellow Hawaiian Manti Te’o but the odds are less than 50-50 that he would choose Notre Dame as his final destination. The Fighting Irish do not necessarily need five Linebackers in this year’s class. Not landing at least four would be almost devastating considering where the Irish are as of October 24, 2012.
Taking this all into consideration, Notre Dame still could hold onto Anzalone. If Notre Dame continues to win and prove that they are better on the field than Florida that will help. Notre Dame can appeal to a family that genuinely cares about education. A father also always wants the best for his son. Notre Dame can provide an education that is second to none. These are two selling point that Notre Dame can hang their hats on going forward.