5 star 2013 DT may not be enrolling at Notre Dame

Submitted by Leaders And Best on May 20th, 2013 at 11:16 PM

5 star DT Eddie Vanderdoes is rumored to not be enrolling at Notre Dame:

Bruce Feldman @BFeldmanCBS 17m

Could be good news for #UCLA. MT @SacBee_JoeD: Lot of speculation 5-star DT Eddie Vanderdoes may not be headed to Notre Dame after all

This continues the trend over the last 4 years or so where some of the top recruits at Notre Dame have either never made it onto campus or transferred within a year:

2013: 5 star Eddie Vanderdoes

2012: 5 star QB Gunner Kiel, 5 star CB Ronald Darby, 4 star WR Davonte Neal, 4 star CB Tee Shepard, 4 star WR Deontay Greenberry, 4 star OL Taylor Decker, 4 star WR Justin Ferguson

2011: 5 star DE Aaron Lynch

2010: 5 star DE Chris Martin, 4 star OL Matt James, 4 star RB Giovani Bernard, 4 star DE Blake Lueders

2009: 4 star WR Shaquelle Evans



May 21st, 2013 at 10:23 PM ^

Are you sure about that?  He left behind Ryan Mallett, Mario Manningham, and Adrian Arrington on offense; it's not exactly his fault that they decided to leave.  There was also a decent defense left with Steve Brown, Morgan Trent, Jonas Mouton, Mike Martin, Tim Jamison, Brandon Graham, Terrance Taylor, etc.  A decent defensive staff should have been able to put together a better defense than what Michigan had.  And the offense would have been better if someone came in who ran a similar system to Carr's.

It just so happened that they hired Rich Rodriguez, who changed the offense - which is totally his prerogative - and brought in a dysfunctional defensive staff.


May 23rd, 2013 at 1:43 PM ^

You actually sell LC a bit short. He also left 2 very good OL behind, Schilling and Boren and a couple of decent (when not injured) RBs. Let's assume Mallett and Arrington would stay (Although things written on Mgoblog about RM's relationship with the coaches and his teammates make that questionable and I think AA was going to leave since his stock was unlikely to go higher than it was after his incredible bowl performance).

So, whoever coached in 2008 was going to have an offense with two linemen, a good but immobile QB and three possession WRs. Manningham was gone in any case and Carr gets the blame for not replacing him. That offense was going to be terrible regardless whether LC stayed or Les Miles (our savior!) was the coach.

You're absolutely right that the starting DL and DBs were good (and Brandon Graham is one of the all time greats), but there was little depth and the LBs were awful.

To sum up: an awful offense combined with a defense that is at best "decent" leads to a losing season - and that assumes that Mallett stays.

No coach could have succeeded with that team.

Side note: it's amusing to see Stevie Brown listed as an asset left behind by LC. He was considered a joke on this board before RR's staff found him a position and coached him up.


May 23rd, 2013 at 2:26 PM ^

Lloyd Carr never had a losing season in his career.  I think it's kind of far-fetched to believe that Carr or another equally talented coach would not have succeeded with what was left.  We can believe or disbelieve the rumors about Mallett, Manningham, Arrington, etc. leaving, but Carr knew how to develop a team and get the best out of his players.  Both the defense AND the offense would have been better if Carr or his doppelganger had been in place.  We wouldn't have won a national championship or anything, but his track record suggests that a winning season would have been in place.


May 23rd, 2013 at 3:52 PM ^

Bo never had a losing season either, but he went 6-6 in 1984. That team and its schedule were much more favorable to a winning season than what Michigan had in 2008.

I assumed that Mallett and Arrington stayed and played in 2008 in reaching my conclusion. Without Mallett you're trying to win with ThreetSheridan. Good luck.


May 23rd, 2013 at 3:33 PM ^


So, whoever coached in 2008 2011 was going to have an offense with two linemen, a good but immobile poor passing QB and three possession WRs.


You're absolutely right that the starting DL and DBs LBs were good (and Mike Martin Brandon Graham is one of the all time greats), but there was little depth and the LBs DBs were awful.


And be talking about an 11 win team, right?


May 23rd, 2013 at 4:13 PM ^

By 2011 Michigan had capable or better players at every position and depth:

QB: The all-time leading rushing QB (a 3 year starter) and a 5* backup who is now showing that he deserved his ranking.

RB: OK, we're still weak here since Dee Hart decommitted.

OL: 4 quality starters including guys who would be All American (Lewan), a Rimington winner (Molk), All Big 10 (Omameh and honorable mention Barnum). You could have had Will Campbell at the other OT or Hyuge or Schofield. (Too bad Jake Fisher decommitted. He got playing time at Oregon).

WR: Gallon and a couple of possession receivers. It should be noted that possession receivers are more useful when there is actually an OL in front of the QB.

That's a much stronger offense than RR inherited.

On defense, as you recognize we were solid on the DL and at LB, but  you sell the DBs short. Kovacs, Countess, Woolfolk, Raymon Taylor, Floyd, Thomas Gordon and Avery give you enough backs that you aren't dead if a couple of injuries hurt.

So, yeah, you could write that but it wouldn't accurately portray the situation. A coach who didn't feel obliged to prove he could win throwing the balll in a windstorm could have done better than 11-2 with what RR left behind.



May 23rd, 2013 at 4:35 PM ^

Denard and Mallett is a wash. Mallett went way higher in the draft, and was drafted as a QB. Saying one was going to have more success than the other is folly.  And that 5* back up was in no way ready to show he was ready to play QB in 2011. If he had come in we'd have been hosed.

You can judge how good our O-line was this last year to determine how many quality starters we had. In 2008 we could have had Schilling, Molk, Boren who were All Big Ten type players, and Mitchell, Ortmann, and Moseman would have filled out that line fine. 

Countess was a true freshman and only started like half the season. Kovacs is really good for what he is, but not a great argument for depth.  And it parallels your description of the linebackers well, since Obi Ezeh got worse under Rich Rod, and ignores Jonas Mouton, who was a second round pick....far higher than any of the defenders on that 2011 team have went.

Face it, 2008 had the talent to be an above average defense.  The fact that they were awful compared to any team other than 2009 and 2010 was the problem. And a coach who didn't feel obliged to run option Nick Sheridan could have done better than 3-9. Which is all Magnus was saying. (Of course, the thing is, no one believes we would have gone 11-2 with the prior defensive coaches anyway. Or they'd still be here).


May 24th, 2013 at 12:10 PM ^

I'm not sure what you think I'm just "making up" but I disagree with several of your points.

Mallett was a very good college QB. Getting drafted higher by the NFL is irrelevant to success at the college level. Player A can be much better in college than player B and be worse in the NFL if he is less able to contend with the speed of the NFL. I do contend that Mallett behind M's OL in 2008 would be less successful than Denard Robinson, with 3 years experience as a starter, operating behind M's 2011 OL. Also, Molk proved his ability over the years but in 2008 he was far from the dominating player he became. We'll never know how Gardner would have performed if he had been been thrown into games as a starter in 2011. He surprised most people with his performance when he had to start in 2012, Maybe we would have been surprised a year earlier under different circumstances.

I don't list Kovacs as "depth." He was a vitally important starter. He excelled as a strong safety and would have started on many of M's teams. One of the great frustrations for me over the years has been watching poor tackling by M's defense. Would you rather have Shazor or Kovacs on the field when you had to have your safety make a stop?

I don't understand your point about Countess. Yes, he was a freshman but we have numerous examples of freshmen excelling at CB: Woodson and Ty Law to name a couple. The irrefutable fact is he stepped up and performed well when called to do so.

My criticism of the 2008 personnel doesn't focus on the defense. The DL and DBs were stocked with good players. But, do you really want to argue that Ezeh and Mouton consistently performed well that year? I will grant that a significant part of the problem on D lay with the coaching staff. I've never said they were great. (Although I have noted that they got much better play from Ryan Mundy and Stevie Brown than other M coaches ever did). But part of the problem with Ezeh and Mouton was mental.

Finally, I don't claim that LC, if he had stayed (along with Mallett, Boren and Arrington), would have finished 3-9. I do think he would have had a losing record. Without the cost of a transition in systems it wouldn't be as bad as 3-9, but I have no doubt that whoever coached M in 2008 was going to have a losing record.


May 24th, 2013 at 3:40 PM ^

Denard had three years experience as a starter. When he had one. But saying things like there were two good lineman on the roster in 2008...when there were more before Rich got here.

And we have an idea how Gardner would have performed, because every time he was on the field at that point, either in spring or in games, he was pretty awful.

And though I love what he did, Kovacs was limited.  I'd rather have Shazor. Kovacs was a good run defense tackler, but wasn't athletic enough to really cover anyone really good. Marlin Jackson agrees.

And Countess isn't an "irrefutable fact" because if he had stepped up when called on, he'd have started from day 1, not halfway through the season. And while I think he's a good player, if you're comparing him to Woodson or Law, you're batshit crazy.  If he's a Hall we've done really well, and I'm not sure he's that good. He'll be a fine starter, but he wasn't dominating as a freshman, just like you say Molk wasn't.

I'm not saying that Ezeh or Mouton played well that year. In fact, you're making my case for me, because the whole point is that they would have performed better under different coaches. Because Ezeh did, and Mouton had a lot more talent than he got a chance to show (so did Mouton, but he played well enough that it doesn't show as much). Saying it was "mental" isn't only an assumption, but just a convenient absolution for bad coaching.

You can say you're not talking about the defense, but you're talkilng about how well the team did. And the original point was that the offense would have been better, both in style and player retention, and the defense would have been a LOT better, you'd have had a significantly better team. One that if Lloyd Carr had stayed could have easily been 7-5, and even with a smooth transition could have been a 6-6 team. No one was saying it wasn't going to be a down year. But finding three or four more wins on that schedule isn't that hard (we lost to three teams with losing records). So you can have no doubt, but you'd be in the minority.


May 21st, 2013 at 12:41 AM ^

WTF is going on at ND?  My guess is that when the players are being recruited they get to meet this Brian Kelly....

And who wouldnt want to play for a fun-loving irshman with a twinkle in his eye like that?  I mean he's practicaly a leprechaun wouldnt you say?

Then they get on campus and start practice and then they get to meet THIS Brian Kelly

And decide perhaps other schools might be better options for the next four years.


May 21st, 2013 at 10:31 AM ^

Your favorite team went out like a bitch against us. Throwing stones at our schedule doesn't help you here. We went out and scheduled Arkansas and VT to replace you, and may add USC as well. You chose to keep your "rivalries" with Purdue and MSU while adding Duke and NC State. It's an ND problem, not a Michigan Problem.

The Geek

May 21st, 2013 at 12:45 PM ^

Our non-conference schedule is your best slam? With that logic, no five- or four-star recruit would set foot on an SEC school campus, but that's just silly, isn't it?

I think Section1 is lurking around here somewhere, even those lowly RR recruits beat ND consistently.


May 21st, 2013 at 10:18 AM ^

Losing thirteen 4* or 5* players in four years is incredible.  Even though ND is recruiting extremely well and reloading quickly, this has to show up on the field at some point (hopefully against UM this year).


May 21st, 2013 at 12:24 PM ^

Related to this point and as a sidebar to the diary I posted yesterday, I actually did Notre Dame's before and after attrition Rivals star averages, and the 2012 class alone went from 3.53 to 3.18, which is huge and does weigh on their recent average considerably. Actually, with attrition, Notre Dame has lost about half of its 5-stars and slightly over 20% of its four-star haul in the last 5 classes. Eventually, that has to hurt - they only signed 2 DL recruits in 2012, I think, so losing Vanderdoes poses a huge problem for them. 


May 21st, 2013 at 10:46 AM ^

The kid changed his commitment 4 times as a recruit.  Committed to ND in the end, enrolled at Cal, transferred to Florida, and I believe he's not even there anymore.

Tee Shepard was diagnosed with a heart condition when he got on campus, Aaron Lynch got homesick, and I believe Devonte Neal's father practically made him go to ND.

I think the 2 that were really shocks when they happened were Decker and Greenberry


May 21st, 2013 at 11:52 PM ^

Tee Shepard didn't have the grades, he didn't even get in to Oklahoma afterwards.  Aaron Lynch loved his girlfriend/fiance too much and Devonte Neal wanted to be with his baby mama.  Greenberry bailed at the last minute due to academic issues and was Tee Shepards cousin.  Greenberry actually called the ND coaching staff the week before NSD and told them that Shepard was speaking to USC and starting to lean that way.

The Geek

May 21st, 2013 at 12:43 PM ^

As long as he doesn't end up at Neuter Dame, ohio or Staee, it's all good. Best of luck to the young man.

Interesting post, and research on the last 4 years. Lots of 4 and 5 stars on that list.


May 21st, 2013 at 6:21 PM ^

Lots of venom in Irish country over this...

From Irish Envy:

One Bama fan's take:

"I’m not buying the lofty, monocle-wearing explanation from the South Bendovers that all of these players and recruits are bolting because they don’t measure-up to the academic upper-crust of that elitist **** hole. Are we to believe that all of a sudden, Brian “Spanky” Kelly realized that this many players came-up short of academic standards? So… no one on Kelly’s crack squad of Vatican assistant-commandos bothered to check whether their current and future players/signees were ****-all stupid gradewise the previous academic year? For shite’s sake, Teo was so ****ing stupid he couldn’t even keep his lies straight and HE (supposedly) qualified for 4 whole years of “Mongo no like cancer. Cancer take beloved Kahlua and grand maw-maw. Mango has a sad.”

Oh, and can we also count Kelly among those checking other options (looking to break camp) after the 2012 dream season?

There is something rotten (nay… fishy?) going on inside that program. Players aren’t digging it and if Spanky had such a profound love for that future meteor crater, he would not have been scheduling an interview in Philadelphia the day after the NCG."