Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame linebacker Anthony McDonald won’t have to change the name of his school when he leaves for college.
The top middle linebacker in California, McDonald took an unofficial visit to his high school’s namesake, Notre Dame, and on Wednesday, committed to the Irish.
“I basically knew the whole time that Notre Dame was the place for me, I had a good vibe,” said McDonald. “I was going to wait until Saturday to do it, but I got down there to watch practice and Coach (Brian) Polian pulled me aside. It was amazing and everything was perfect. So I committed then.”
The commitment from McDonald gives the Irish their 7th verbal in the class of 2008 and their second at linebacker (David Posluszny committed a week ago).
“It was the school I always dreamed of going to,” said McDonald. “It definitely feels like the right place. The campus was just amazing and I’m blown away by it. The hard thing is going to be telling the other schools but I ain’t changing my mind.”
McDonald was joined on the unofficial visit by his prep teammate Dayne Crist, the lone quarterback the Irish have offered in this class and the top signal-caller in the West. In fact, Crist picked up an offer from Florida State while on the trip.
“Dayne got the full tour so now I’m putting the full court press on him,” said McDonald.
The Irish also extended an offer to one of the elite tight ends in the West, Encino (Calif.) Crespi’s Joseph Fauria.
It was one of four offers that the 6-7, 250-pound prospect received this week, along with North Carolina, Maryland and Arizona State.
Fauria has a connection to both the Notre Dame and Arizona State coaching staffs, thanks to his uncle Christian, a longtime NFL tight end.
Irish head coach Charlie Weis coached Christian in New England, when he was the Patriots offensive coordinator while Dennis Erickson, the head man at Arizona State, was Christian’s head coach when he was the Seattle Seahawks.
“Notre Dame actually sent me my first recruiting letter when I was a sophomore,” Fauria told IrishEyes.com. “After that I really didn’t hear much from them until recently. I got a text message from coach Polian and he wanted me to call him. When I called, he put coach Weis on the phone, and coach Weis asked me if I would be interested in Notre Dame if they offered me a scholarship. I told him I’d definitely be interested, and that is when he offered me a scholarship.”
Fauria, who said he remains wide open, has his top seven schools being Notre Dame, Stanford, LSU, Nebraska, Arizona State, UCLA and Oregon.
Lakewood (Wash.) Lakes is home to the top player in the Evergreen State, defensive end/tight end Kavario Middleton, but Lakes has another top prospect in Jermaine Kearse a 6-2, 175-pound receiver who is one of the top receivers in the state.
Kearse boasts offers from both of the in-state programs, Washington and Washington State and he took in one of the Huskies’ spring practices.
“It was a good practice," Kearse told Dawgman.com. "I met with coach (Tyrone) Willingham and coach (Charlie) Baggett who would be my position coach if I commit there and they talked to me for a while. Me and Kavario went up to check things out," Kearse said. "It was a lot of fun. The players looked like they were having a lot of fun out there and it's just fun watching them go at it."
UNLV received a big boost this week when El Camino (Calif.) College offensive lineman Siosifa Moala committed to the Rebels.
A 6-2, 330-pound guard, Moala started for the Warriors in 2006 and helped lead them to the State JC title.
The bonus on Moala is that he’s eligible to transfer during the summer and play for the Rebels in the fall, provided he completes the requirements for his A.A.
Moala is expected to compete for the starting position at guard or center for the Rebels.
Chino Hills (Calif.) tight end Cory Harkey has been around sports his entire life and with the way his spring is going, shouldn’t see it end anytime soon.
The son of former major league pitcher and current Florida Marlins bullpen coach Mike Harkey, Cory has seven offers.
“I have offers from UCLA, Oregon, Oregon State, Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State and Utah,” said Harkey. “I’m hearing from USC and Notre Dame. I’m looking for a school in the Pac-10 so I can stay close to home. So far, my options are looking good.”
Harkey’s older brother, Tony, is a freshman at Utah State so playing college football isn’t foreign to the family.
He said that, with a family with such extended experience in athletics, they’ve been helpful throughout the process. “They’re supporting my decision and not really leading me towards anywhere,” said Harkey. “They just want to see me happy there.”