Nov. 3, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly talks to his players in overtime against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won 29-26 in triple overtime. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE
Alex Anzalone visited South Bend this weekend in an attempt to firm up his commitment to the Fighting Irish. Recently, his recruitment has been trending towards Gainesville but this weekend changed it. Tonight, Anzalone reaffirmed his commitment to Notre Dame via Twitter:
“First off, I want to thank the coaches who have been supportive of me throughout my recruitment. There have been many highs and lows but when it came down to it I had to find the best fit for me. I have developed close relationships with many GREAT coaches, but at the end of the day I had to chose one school. I have been committed to ND since July. With that, I want to reaffirm my commitment to Notre Dame and shut down my recruitment completely with all other schools. God bless!”
Anzalone has had an arduous journey to make it to this point. Originally, he committed to Ohio State University. But following an on-campus incident, Anzalone was forced to decommit from the Buckeyes and reopen his recruitment. After a battle between Florida-Notre Dame, Anzalone committed to Notre Dame. Recently, his commitment was tested. It seemed like Anzalone was more likely to end up in Gainesville than South Bend. However, after this weekend it appears to be firmed up for good.
This is a huge recruit for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame needed to land a Middle Linebacker in this class to eventually replace Heisman Candidate Manti Te’o. Anzalone was the top target for the Fighting Irish at this position. Anzalone is ranked as the 6th best Linebacker and 48th best player nationally by Rivals.com. 247Sports.com has the Anzalone ranked 43rd. Furthermore, Anzalone is ranked as the 64th by Scout.com. Overall, Anzalone is a very good 4-star recruit that will make an instant impact for the Fighting Irish in 2013.
Notre Dame has 22 commitments in the 2013 class so far including Alex Anzalone. It is a class that features 1 5-star recruit and 12 4-star recruits. The class is considered to be one of the best in the nation. Anzalone is huge piece to that puzzle.
After this season, Notre Dame will have four Inside Linebackers on scholarship. Alex Anzalone and fellow recruit Michael Deeb will be the fifth and sixth recruits respectively. These two recruits will be able to compete with returning contributed Dan Fox and Carlo Calabrese for playing in 2013. Anzalone should be able to break through on Special Teams if not on Defense for the Fighting Irish. Anzalone is one in a line of several high profile Defensive recruits that Brian Kelly has landed during his tenure at Notre Dame. This has been a plan of act for Kelly and his staff since he took the job in late 2009.
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