Saturday, April 23, 2005

Kallen Wade picks the Irish | by Michael

Kallen Wade has become the 4th known verbal in this year’s class. Wade is a 6’5, 220 lb DE at Withrow High School in Cincinnati.

Wade, who sports a 3.8 GPA, has played three different positions in his three years of high school football. As a freshman, he played safety. As a sophomore, he played linebacker. Last year, he played defensive end and accumulated roughly 40 tackles to go with his 13 sacks. He was named to the All-Conference, All-City and All-Ohio teams. He also participates on the track team by running the 400m.

It would make the most sense that Wade is being recruited as a pass-rushing defensive end, although it’s notable that a few schools, including Cincinnati, want him as an outside linebacker. Why’s that important? It suggests the versatility that Wade brings to the table; Wade appears to be a defensive end athletic enough to both rush the passer as well as drop into the flat on zone blitzes or in 8-man coverage schemes.

How would his coach, Charles Gamble, describe his play? From a article in late March:

“Kallen is the real deal…a tremendous athlete, he has a high motor and he doesn't quit…he never gives up on a play and he's consistent night in and night out.”

In addition to the offer from Notre Dame, Wade had collected offers from Boston College, Louisville, Duke, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Miami (Ohio) and Illinois, among others. Ohio State had an interest in Wade, but it appears that, similarly to the former Notre Dame staff’s strategy, they wanted him to attend their summer camp in order to earn an offer. While such a strategy may have worked a few years ago, it seems that because recruits are making their decisions earlier every year, programs may have to reevaluate that practice. (The same thing happened to Ohio State last year with Brandon Harrison.) There is also some question as to how many defensive linemen Ohio State wanted to sign in this year’s class (I’ve seen the number as low as 1) so that should also be considered when considering the lack of an offer from the in-state power.

Now that Wade is in the fold, Irish fans can turn their attention to his teammate Robert Williams, a cornerback who has been hearing from the Irish but has yet to be offered. His core GPA may be the culprit according to an April 4th update on Irish Eyes.

If you have a subscription to, check out Wade for yourself:

Video 1

Video 2

Kallen Wade bursts through the Dunbar o-line before the running back even gets the ball.