2008 Notre Dame Fighting Irish Season
Notre Dame LB Maurice Crum
Notre Dame LB Maurice Crum
Posted Feb 4, 2009

2008 Notre Dame Fighting Irish Season, Game Recaps, Scores and Reviews

2008 Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Dec. 24
2008 Hawaii Bowl
Notre Dame 49 ... Hawaii 21

Jimmy Clausen set Notre Dame bowl records for completing percentage, passing yards and touchdown passes as he threw for five scores with three going to Golden Tate from 69, 18, and and 40 yards out on the way to a 42-7 lead midway through the third quarter. Hawaii kept it close early on with a 10-yard Aaron Bain touchdown catch to cut the early lead to 14-7, but Tate and Clausen went to work with two scores to close out the first half including a back-of-the-end-zone grab with one second to play. Bain scored a second time on a 21-yard pass play late in the third, but Armando Allen immediately answered with a 96-yard kickoff return for a score. Allen also caught an 18-yard touchdown pass on the first drive of the third quarter.
Player of the game: Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen completed 22-of-26 passes for 401 yards and five touchdowns.
Stat Leaders: Notre Dame - Passing: Jimmy Clausen, 22-26, 401 yds, 5 TD
Rushing: Robert Hughes, 17-55, 1 TD. Receiving: Golden Tate, 6-177, 3 TD
Hawaii - Passing: Greg Alexander, 23-39, 261 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Kealoha Pilares, 2-19. Receiving: Aaron Bain, 8-109, 2 TD
Inside The Box Score ... Sacks: ND 8 for 55 yards - Hawaii 2 for eight yards. ... Jimmy Clausen completed 18-of-21 passes for 300 yards and three touchdowns in the first half ... Hawaii LB Solomon Elimimian led all tacklers with nine stops to go along with a sack. ... The two teams combined to convert 7-of-24 third down chances. ... Average yards per kickoff return: ND 44.3 on three tries, Hawaii 18.7 on seven chances. ... Rushing yards: ND 65, averaging 1.9 yards per try. Hawaii ran for 32 yards, averaging 1.7 yards per try.

- 2008 Irish Preview
- 2007 Irish Season

2008 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2008 Record:

Sept. 6 San Diego State W 21-13
Sept. 13 Michigan W 35-17
Sept. 20 at Michigan State L 23-7
Sept. 27 Purdue W 38-21
Oct. 4 Stanford W 28-21
Oct. 11 at North Carolina L 29-24
Oct. 25 at Washington W 33-7
Nov. 1 Pitt L 36-33 4 OT
Nov. 8 at Boston College L 17-0
Nov. 15 Navy (Balt) W 27-21
Nov. 22 Syracuse L 24-23
Nov. 29 at USC L 38-3
Hawaii Bowl
Dec. 24 Hawaii W 49-21

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2007 Record: 3-9

Sept. 1 Georgia Tech L 33-3
Sept. 8 at Penn State L 31-10
Sept. 15 at Michigan L 38-0
Sept. 22
Michigan St L 31-14
Sept. 29 at Purdue L 33-19
Oct. 6 at UCLA W 20-6
Oct. 13
Boston Coll L 27-14
Oct. 20 USC L 38-0
Nov. 3
Navy L 46-44 3OT
Nov. 10 Air Force L 41-24
Nov. 17 Duke W 28-7
Nov. 24 at Stanford W 21-14

Nov. 29
USC 38 … Notre Dame 3
In one of the most embarrassing offensive performances in the Charlie Weis era, Notre Dame didn't get a first down until the last play of the third quarter, and only managed 91 yards of offense and four first downs. USC lost three interceptions, but was never threatened as Joe McKnight tore off a 55-yard touchdown run in the second and Stafon Johnson and C.J. Gable each ran for short scores. Patrick Turner closed out the scoring with a 17-yard catch midway through the fourth. The only Irish points came on a 41-yard Brandon Walker field goal.
Player of the game: USC QB Mark Sanchez completed 22-of-31 passes for 267 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions
Stat Leaders: Notre Dame - Passing: Jimmy Clausen, 11-22, 41 yds, 2 INT
Rushing: James Aldridge, 12-58. Receiving: Robert Hughes, 3-9
USC - Passing: Mark Sanchez, 22-31, 267 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Joe McKnight, 4-63. Receiving: Damian Williams, 7-86, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... It's not fair to end the Charlie Weis gig just because his teams couldn't handle USC, everyone has that issue, but to only come up with 91 yards of total offense and appear to be so helpless moving the ball, that's a different story. There's no excuse for the talent the Irish have to struggle this much to generate something, anything on a USC defense that's fantastic, but hasn't faced a slew of decent offenses. This might be it for the Weis era, but his team has made improvements, especially on defense. It's better against the run than it's been in years.

Nov. 22
Syracuse 24 … Notre Dame 23
Syracuse stunned the Irish with an 11-yard touchdown catch from Donte Davie with 42 seconds to play. Down one, Notre Dame tried a 53-yard field goal as time ran out, but missed. The Irish got a huge day from Golden Tate, who caught touchdown passes from 35 and 36 yards out, but Syracuse came back with two 68-yard scoring drives in the fourth quarter starting with a 26-yard Antwon Bailey dash to get back in the game before the late drive that ended up winning the game. SU outgained SU 170 yards to 41 on the ground.
Player of the game: Syracuse LB Arthur Jones made 15 tackles, four tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks
Stat Leaders: Notre Dame - Passing: Jimmy Clausen, 22-39, 291 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Armando Allen, 17-52. Receiving: Golden Tate, 7-146, 2 TD
Syracuse - Passing: Cameron Dantley, 13-25, 122 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Antwon Bailey, 16-126, 1 TD. Receiving: Donte Davis, 2-34, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Who loses to Syracuse? Notre Dame didn't play well, but it had the game in hand before allowing two fourth quarter scoring drives to a team completely and totally unable to go on fourth quarter scoring drives. The running game was non-existent, and even though Jimmy Clausen had a decent game, and Golden Tate had a fantastic game, it wasn't enough to overcome the rest of the problems. Up next is USC. Notre Dame is supposed to be getting better as the season goes on as it grows up and improves, but instead it's taking a monster leap backwards at the wrong time.

Nov. 15

Notre Dame 27 … Navy 21
Despite turning the ball over five times, Notre Dame was cruising late as Robert Hughes ran for a seven-yard touchdown and Armando Allen ran for an 11-yard score. And Navy made things very interesting. Shun White ran for a 24-yard score with 1:39 to play, the Midshipmen recovered the onside kick, and two plays later got a one-yard Ricky Dobbs touchdown run. Navy recovered another onside kick, but the final drive, with a Hail Mary, didn't click. In the first quarter, Toyran Smith returned a blocked punt for a 14-yard Irish touchdown. Navy's Jeff Deliz made 17 tackles.
Player of the game: Notre Dame LB Toryan Smith made 10 tackles and returned a blocked punt for a score
Stat Leaders: Navy - Passing: Ricky Dobbs, 2-8, 54 yds
Rushing: Eric Kettani, 11-42. Receiving: Tyree Barnes, 2-54
Notre Dame - Passing: Jimmy Clausen, 15-18, 110 yds, 2 INT
Rushing: James Aldrige, 16-80. Receiving: Armando Allen, 7-60
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... On sheer talent and athleticism, the Irish should've beaten Navy by 40. The defense held the Midshipman running game in check, Jimmy Clausen only missed on one pass, although two of his throws went to Navy defenders, and the team appeared to be in control. However, the lack of physical play from the offensive line proved costly as the Irish couldn't close out with the running game. With all the drama and all the controversy, the last thing the team needed was more drama and more controversy, but with the way the team struggled to finish, there will be much, much more to talk about before dealing with Syracuse. On the plus side, the Irish will get back to a bowl game after this win.

Nov. 8

Boston College 17 … Notre Dame 0
Boston College picked off Jimmy Clausen four times with Paul Anderson taking one of his two interceptions 76 yards for a second quarter touchdown. The BC offense sputtered, gaining just 246 yards, but it managed an eight-yard Brandon Robinson scoring catch early in the third and a 27-yard Steve Aponavicius field goal in the first. In all, Notre Dame turned it over five times. Boston College didn't commit any turnovers.
Player of the game: Boston College LB Mark Herzlich made 11 tackles and broke up three passes.
Stat Leaders: Notre Dame - Passing: Jimmy Clausen, 26-46, 226 yds, 4 INT
Rushing: Armando Allen, 6-24. Receiving: Armando Allen, 9-47
Boston College - Passing: Chris Crane, 9-22, 79 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Montel Harris, 23-120. Receiving: Rich Gunnell, 4-34
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The Irish needs to have more offensive balance. Jimmy Clausen tried to carry the day against Boston College with 46 throws, but he didn't get enough support from the running game that gained just 66 yards. Clausen was under pressure, but that wasn't an excuse for the four interceptions. It seemed like he was trying to make too many things happen with the weight of the offense on his shoulders. The defense did a great job against the BC offense, but it couldn't come up with the big takeaways BC did. Next week's game against Navy is for more than revenge, the Irish need it to become bowl eligible and to break the streak of three losses in the last four games.

Nov. 1
Pitt 36 … Notre Dame 33 4OT
In a battle of overtime field goals, Pitt's Conor Lee hit his fifth of the game, and the fourth in the extra time, on a 22-yarder after Notre Dame's Brandon Walker, who hit three from 22, 26 and 48 in the OTs and four in the game, just missed his kick. The crazy ending overshadowed a huge day from Pitt RB LeSean McCoy, who had a big second half, finishing with 269 yards, and ran for a one-yard score to tie it at 17. The Notre Dame passing game got hot in the first half with Michael Floyd touchdown grabs from 18 and four yards out just 1:23 apart. Jimmy Clausen threw his third touchdown pass of the game on a six-yarder to Golden Tate late in the fourth, but Pitt answered with a 10-yard Jonathan Baldwin catch that ended up forcing overtime. Pitt ended up turning it over three times, Notre Dame didn't turn it over at all.
Player of the game: Pitt RB LeSean McCoy ran 32 times for 169 yards and a touchdown and caught two passes for 23 yards
Stat Leaders: Notre Dame - Passing: Jimmy Clausen, 23-44, 271 yds, 3 TD
Rushing: Armando Allen, 19-73. Receiving: Michael Floyd, 10-100, 2 TD
Pitt - Passing: Pat Bostick, 14-27, 164 yds, 1 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: LeSean McCoy, 32-169, 1 TD. Receiving: Oderick Turner, 2-42
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Even in the loss to Pitt, Notre Dame showed excellent signs that things are pointing up. The passing game is going to be special over the next few years with Golden Tate and Michael Floyd two excellent stars to build around, while Jimmy Clausen is getting better and better. The finish was an obviously bad way to end, considering the Irish couldn't punch the ball in the end zone, but give the defense credit for holding Pitt to field goals, too.

Oct. 25
Notre Dame 33 … Washington 7
Notre Dame dominated Washington with the first 33 points of the game before the Huskies finally got on the board late with a six-yard D'Andre Goodwin touchdown catch. Michael Floyd took a pass 51 yards for the opening Irish score, Golden Tate ran for a 21-yard touchdown, and James Aldridge scored from four and three yards out on the way to the easy win. The Irish outgained the Huskies 459 yards to 124.
Player of the game: Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen completed 14-of-26 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown with an interception
Stat Leaders: Washington - Passing: Ronnie Fouch, 11-25
Rushing: Terrance Dailey, 8-24. Receiving: D'Andre Goodwin, 7-47, 1 TD
Notre Dame - Passing: Jimmy Clausen, 14-26, 201 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Armando Allen, 15-62. Receiving: Michael Floyd, 4-107, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Notre Dame blew away Washington in a 33-7 game that could've been a whole bunch worse. The offense got creative with empty backfields, five-wide sets, and a slew of different plays to get the ball in the hands of the playmakers. The offense wasn't always sharp, but it didn't have to be thanks to the defense's performance against a woeful Husky defense. Now the Irish need a win over a real team, and even after a loss, Pitt qualifies. If the run defense plays like it did against UW, ND will be 6-2 going into the showdown at Boston College.

Oct. 11
North Carolina 29 … Notre Dame 24
Notre Dame took a 17-9 lead into halftime helped by two Jimmy Clausen touchdown passes, and then North Carolina took over on both sides of the ball. The Tar Heels got a 32-yard interception return for a touchdown from Quan Sturdivant on the first play of the second half, but James Aldridge ran for a two-yard score to give the Irish an eight point lead. Ryan Houston ran for a one-yard score, but the Tar Heels missed on the two point conversion. Cam Sexton put UNC up for good on a four-yard touchdown run, and Deunta Williams helped put it away with a pick. The Irish had one final shot, but turned the ball over again. In all Notre Dame turned it over five times, North Carolina didn't give it away.
Player of the game: North Carolina LB Quan Sturdivant made 10 tackles, half a tackle for loss, and an interception return for a score
Stat Leaders: Notre Dame - Passing: Jimmy Clausen, 31-48, 383 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Armando Allen, 11-60. Receiving: Armando Allen, 7-47
North Carolina - Passing: Cam Sexton, 18-32, 201 yds
Rushing: Shaun Draughn, 17-91. Receiving: Hakeem Nicks, 9-141
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Jimmy Clausen was terrific against North Carolina until he was pressured. Sacked four times and with two interceptions when he wasn't on the same page as his receiver, Clausen had his bad moments to go along with 383 yards and two scores. He kept the chains moving, and he showed once again that he really is a franchise player to build around. This was a bad loss because of all the mistakes, but once the team gets a little bit older, the overall mistakes will stop. There's reason to be excited, even after the loss.

Oct. 4
Notre Dame 28 … Stanford 21
Jimmy Clausen was fantastic with three touchdown passes in the first three quarters, and Armando Allen scored twice starting with a 21-yard score on a dump-off play for an early 7-0 lead and a three-yard run midway through the second. Michael Floyd caught a 48-yard pass for a score and Kyle Rudolph got the final ND touchdown on a 16-yard third quarter catch. Stanford made it interesting in the fourth quarter as Tavita Pritchard heated up, hitting Jim Dray for a one-yard score and Doug Baldwin for a 10-yard touchdown, But the Irish were able to hold on late.
Player of the game: Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen completed 29-of-40 passes for 347 yards and three touchdowns
Stat Leaders: Stanford - Passing: Tavita Pritchard, 18-28, 182 yds, 2 TD, 3 INT
Toby Gerhart, 13-104, 1 TD. Receiving: Ryan Whalen, 8-91
Notre Dame
- Passing: Jimmy Clausen, 29-40, 347 yds, 3 TD
Armando Allen, 9-33, 1 TD. Receiving: Armando Allen, 7-66, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
Jimmy Clausen is becoming a major league player. He always had the arm and he's always been a bomber, but now he's making better reads, doing a better job of taking what the defense is giving him, and is leading the team to wins. The running game isn't special, Armando Allen and Robert Hughes were hardly impressive, but the offense did its job against a decent Stanford defense. With a nasty game at North Carolina up next, the offense has to do an even better job of controlling the ball.

Sept. 27
Notre Dame 38 ... Purdue 21
Robert Blanton returned an interception 47 yards for a touchdown and Jimmy Clausen hooked up with Golden Tate for a six-yard score in the first half as part of a 14-14 halftime, and then Notre Dame rolled in the third quarter as Clausen threw two touchdown passes and Armando Allen ran for a 16-yard score. Purdue pulled within seven on a 54-yard Desmond Tardy touchdown catch, but the Irish answered with a 30-yard David Grimes touchdown and finished it off with a Brandon Walker 41-yard field goal. Purdue threw for 359 yards, but Notre Dame ran for a season-high 201.
Player of the game: Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen completed 20-of-35 for 275 yards and three touchdown passes, rushing five times for eight yards.
Stat Leaders: Purdue
- Passing: Curtis Painter, 29-55, 359 yds, 2 TDs, 1 INT
Rushing: Kory Sheets, 13-87, 1 TD. Receiving: Desmond Tardy, 10-175, 1 TD
Notre Dame
- Passing: Jimmy Clausen, 20-35, 275 yds, 3 TDs
Rushing: Armando Allen, 17-134, 1 TD. Receiving: Michael Floyd, 6-100
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Look at who's running the ball. The Irish running game might not have been explosive against Purdue, but it was ultra-effective to balance out the passing game. Once again, the offensive line came through with a good enough performance. Jimmy Clausen didn't make mistakes in what might have been his best overall performance. No, the Irish might not be playing like world-beaters, but at 3-1 with Stanford coming up next, this should be the start the program needs to ease its way into the season, and into the next few seasons. This is still a young team that's about a year away from reaching its full potential. Every win is a good one.

Sept. 20
Michigan State 23 … Notre Dame 7
Javon Ringer ran for 201 yards and two one-yard touchdowns as MSU powered its way past Notre Dame. Down 13-0 going into the fourth quarter, the Irish got a 26-yard touchdown catch from Michael Floyd, but MSU bounced back with a 23-yard Brett Swenson field goal and closed the game with the second Ringer score. MSU outgained the Irish 203 yards to 16 on the ground.
Player of the game: Michigan State RB Javon Ringer ran for 201 yards and two touchdowns on 39 carries.
Stat Leaders: Notre Dame
- Passing: Jimmy Clausen, 24-41, 242 yds, 1 TD, 2 INTs
Rushing: Golden Tate, 1-24. Receiving: Michael Floyd, 7-86, 1 TD
Michigan State
- Passing: Brian Hoyer, 12-26, 143 yds
Rushing: Javon Ringer, 39-201, 2 TDs. Receiving: Mark Dell, 4-80
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Basically, everything needs to be working the right way for Notre Dame to beat the better teams. There weren't the turnovers against Michigan State that there were against Michigan, getting only one takeaway, and the running game remains non-existent. On the plus side, Michael Floyd appears to be a big-time playmaking receiver who needs to be thrown to more. Jimmy Clausen has some good weapons, but now he has to make things happen. For the first time this year the O line struggled with a pass rush, and it showed in the Irish offensive production.

Sept. 13
Notre Dame 35 ... Michigan 17
Michigan turned it over six times including two fumbles on early kickoffs, and Notre Dame took advantage going 11 yards in three plays for a two-yard Robert Hughes touchdown run, and went 14 yards in three plays finishing with a 10-yard Duval Kamara catch for a 14-0 Irish lead four minutes in the game. Jimmy Clausen connected with Golden Tate for a 48-yard touchdown pass for a 21-0 first quarter lead. Michigan got a 40-yard Sam McGuffie touchdown catch and a 23-yard K.C. Lopata field goal to get back in the game, and made it 28-17 late in the first half on a seven-yard Kevin Grady touchdown. But Notre Dame's defense came through, shutting out the Wolverines in the second half and putting the game away with a  35-yard Brian Smith fumble recovery for a score. Irish head coach Charlie Weis suffered a blown out knee when he was run into on the sideline by an Irish player.
Player of the game: Notre Dame S David Bruton made 15 tackles with an interception, a forced fumble and 1.5 tackles for loss.
Stat Leaders: Michigan - Passing: Steven Threet, 16-23, 175 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Sam McGuffie, 25-131. Receiving: Martavious Odoms, 6-56
Notre Dame - Passing: Jimmy Clausen, 10-21, 147 yds, 2 TDs, 2 INTs
Rushing: Robert Hughes, 19-79, 2 TDs. Receiving: Golden Tate, 4-127, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... No sacks. For the second straight week, Notre Dame's much-maligned offensive line failed to allow a sack. While that might not be that big a deal against San Diego State, the line shut out a Michigan defense that was among the nation's leaders in sacks. This was a great win for the Irish, who are on a four-game winning streak, but the offense still struggled with its consistency gaining just 260 yards. Jimmy Clausen threw a great ball on the touchdown pass to Golden Tate, but he only completed 10-of-21 passes with two interceptions.

Sept. 6
Notre Dame 21 ... San Diego State 13
Down 13-7 midway thorough the fourth, Golden Tate caught a 38-yard touchdown pass from Jimmy Clausen, and David Grimes put it away on a six-yard scoring catch with just over two minutes to play. San Diego State hung around with a one-yard Ryan Lindley run and a 15-yard Darren Mougey scoring grab, but the extra point went wide. The Aztecs committed 11 penalties for 100 yards, while the Irish committed seven penalties for 58.
Player of the game: Notre Dame SS
Kyle McCarthy made 14 tackles
Stat Leaders: Notre Dame - Passing: Jimmy Clausen, 21-34, 237 yds, 3 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Armando Allen, 17-59. Receiving: Golden Tate, 6-93, 1 TD
San Diego State - Passing: Ryan Lindley, 29-59, 274 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Brandon Sullivan, 10-66. Receiving: Matthew Kawulok, 9-60
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Zero. That's how many sacks Notre Dame allowed against San Diego State. The offense might have struggled
 throughout the game, but the line can't be blamed like it was last season. The ground game just never got moving and Jimmy Clausen struggled with his consistency, even though he came through big late. Basically, the team got by and found a way to win despite playing horribly. It'll be interesting to see what the team does against Michigan; maybe the clunker against the Aztecs was because it was week one.

2008 Recruiting Class

Star of the Class

Dayne Crist QB 6-5 225 Sherman Oaks, CA (Notre Dame)
Selected to play in U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio ... one of six finalists for the 2008 U.S. Army Player of the Year Award  ...  one of seven finalists for the Joe Montana Quarterback of the Year Award  ... selected to the Parade All-America team as one of 58 players and seven quarterbacks named to team  ...  named to the Scout.com All-America second team  ...  one of five future Irish players placed on the EA Sports All-America third team  ...  one of 20 players selected to Best in the West first team by the Long Beach Press-Telegram S only player projected to play quarterback in college who was named to the Best in the West first team  ...  named second-team all-state by CalHiSports.com as a senior  ...  placed on all-Southern California team by Southern California Football Coaches Association and Orange County Register  ...  completed 57.8 percent of passes for 2,178 yards with 16 touchdowns and one interception in 10 games in 2007 ... also rushed for 454 yards and scored four touchdowns in 81 rushing attempts  ...  against Saugus, completed 18-of-27 passes for 314 yards with three touchdowns and also rushed for a score while leading the Knights to a 38-35 win  ...  passed for 253 yards and four touchdowns while completing 17-of-25 passes and also gained 50 yards on six rushes in a 33-6 win over St. Francis  ...  rated by SuperPrep the 48th-best prospect in the nation, fourth-best quarterback in the country, eighth-best player in the far west and top quarterback in the far west  ...  ranked the seventh-best prospect in California and third-best quarterback in the nation by Scout.com  ...  played in seven games as a junior, passing for 1,270 yards with 17 touchdowns and only three interceptions while completing 52.9 percent of his passes  ...  also rushed for 230 yards and four touchdowns  ...  against Bishop Arnat as a junior, completed 6-of-11 passes for 236 yards and five touchdowns in 49-0 win  ...  over his final two seasons, passed for 3,448 yards in 17 games with 33 touchdowns  ...  completed 56.1 percent of his passes with only four interceptions in 351 pass attempts S amassed a 14-3 record as a starter for the Knights as a junior

Potential Instant Impact Players

Michael Floyd WR 6-3 200 Saint Paul, MN (Cretin-Derham Hall)
Picked to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio ... chosen Gatorade Player of the Year for Minnesota as a junior and senior ... named Minnesota Player of the Year as a junior and senior by the Associated Press ...  named first-team All-American by USA Today following his senior season ... placed on Parade All-America team as one of the 58 best players in the country and one of four all-purpose players ... one of 30 players named to the EA Sports All-America first team ... named a second-team All-American by Scout.com ... earned first-team all-state accolades from the Minnesota Associated Press as a junior and senior ... recipient of 2007 Minnesota Mr. Football award ... named the state¹s Player of the Year by St. Paul Pioneer Press ... ranked the top wide receiver and the third-best player on the Detroit Free Press¹ Best of the Midwest Top 20 list ... labeled by Scout.com as the top player in Minnesota and the fifth-best wide receiver in the country ... recorded 59 receptions for 1,247 yards (21.1 avg.) and 17 touchdowns as a senior and added 497 rushing yards on 43 carries (11.6 avg.) ... returned 16 punts for 373 yards (23.3 avg.) and four touchdowns ... helped lead his high school team to a 13-1 record and appearance in the state championship game ... averaged over 24 points per game as a senior for his high school basketball team

Kyle Rudolph TE 6-7 235 Cincinnati, OH (Elder)
Chosen to play in the  U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio ... named first-team All-American  by USA Today after totaling 37 catches for 673 yards (18.2 yards per catch) and 11 touchdowns as a senior ... placed on the Scout.com All-America first team ... lone tight end among the 11 finalists for the high school Maxwell  Award ... ranked 21st in the country and No. 2 in Ohio by Scout.com ...  received first-team all-Southwest Ohio as a senior after being named second team as a junior ... named second-team all-state by the Associated Press following his senior year ... caught four passes for 57 yards including two touchdowns to help Elder defeat Charlotte (N.C.) Independence, 41-34 in overtime, to end Independence¹s 109-game winning streak (at the time, Independence was ranked No. 3 in the nation) ... gained 111 yards receiving and a touchdown to help the Panthers knock off Moeller ... caught five passes for 120 yards and three touchdowns in Elder¹s 49-34 victory over Cleveland Benedictine ... helped lead team to the playoffs where they lost in the first round to the eventual state champions ... as a junior, caught 30 passes for 400 yards and seven touchdowns en route to earning first-team all-city and all-conference honors San accomplished basketball player who plays center for his high school team and was the conference player of the year and all-Southwest Ohio in 2007 ... is the second-leading scorer in school history and earlier this season became just the second Panther to surpass 1,000 career points ... set the school record for most career rebounds when he corralled his 568th rebound on Jan. 11 S against Moeller (No. 1 in Ohio, No. 9 in the nation) on Jan. 25, scored 25 of Elder¹s 52 points as the Panthers almost upset the top-ranked team in Ohio, 58-52

Rest of the Class
Blanton, Robert DB 6-1 175 Matthews, NC (Butler)
Cave, Braxston OL 6-3 292 Mishawaka, IN (Penn)
Clelland, Lane  OL 6-5 265 Owings Mills, MD (McDonogh School)
Cwynar, Sean  DL 6-4 283 Woodstock, IL (Marian Central Catholic)
Fauria, Joseph  TE 6-7 250 Encino, CA (Crespi Carmelite)
Filer, Steve  LB 6-4 220 Chicago, IL (Mount Carmel)
Fleming, Darius LB 6-2 230 Chicago, IL (St. Rita)
Golic Jr., Mike OL 6-5 265 West Hartford, CT (Northwest Catholic)
Goodman, John WR 6-3 186 Fort Wayne, IN (Bishop Dwenger)
Gray, Jonas  RB 5-11 214 Beverly Hills, MI (Detroit Country Day School)
Johnson, Ethan DL 6-4 265 Portland, OR (Lincoln)
Lewis-Moore, Kapron DE 6-4 230 Weatherford, Texas (Weatherford)
McCarthy, Dan DB 6-2 190 Youngstown, OH (Cardinal Mooney)
McDonald, Anthony LB 6-3 220 Sherman Oaks, CA (Notre Dame)
Newman, Brandon DL 6-1 305 Louisville, KY (Pleasure Ridge Park)
Posluszny, David LB 6-2 214 Aliquippa, PA (Hopewell)
Robinson, Trevor OL 6-5 304 Elkhorn, NE (Elkhorn)
Slaughter, Jamoris DB 6-1 180 Tucker, GA (Tucker)

2007 Recap

While most everyone figured Notre Dame would be rebuilding in the post-Brady Quinn era, few expected it to be so painful and profound.  The Irish became a national punch line in 2007 with a historically ugly campaign, losing nine games for the first time in school history, including an unthinkable six straight in South Bend.  The offense, head coach Charlie Weis' domain, was a particular calamity, averaging a mere 16 points a game, while finishing last nationally in total offense and sacks allowed.           

Offensive Player of the Year: TE John Carlson

Defensive Player of the Year: DE Trevor Laws

Biggest Surprise: Shocking UCLA at the Rose Bowl, 20-6, on Oct. 6.  Yes, the Irish were aided by the Bruins' lack of healthy quarterbacks, but at the time, Notre Dame was 0-5 and reeling out of control.  Despite managing just 140 total yards, the Irish used seven turnovers and a touchdown from LB Maurice Crum to mercifully break into the win column.    

Biggest Disappointment: Losing to Navy, 46-44, on Nov. 3 in an epic triple-overtime thriller.  Throughout the good times and the bad, handling the Middies had become a given for the Irish for more than four decades.  Until this fall.  Navy went toe-to-toe with Notre Dame before foiling a potential game-tying two-pointer for the long-awaited victory.  For the Irish, the loss was more symbolic than anything else, a sign of just how far the program had plummeted.   

Looking Ahead: At least the Irish will have momentum heading into next year, courtesy of season-ending wins over Duke and Stanford.  Notre Dame played a ton of kids this fall, including true freshman QB Jimmy Clausen, so the program should be in a better position to compete in 2008.  How much better is a question that'll be answered under a blue and gold microscope.



Related Stories
Weis Talks About Class
 -by IrishIllustrated.com  Feb 4, 2009
Irish Eyes Video: Signing Day
 -by IrishIllustrated.com  Feb 4, 2009
Bearcats Claw Irish for Sixth-Straight Loss
 -by IrishIllustrated.com  Feb 4, 2009

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