There's an interesting article in the L.A. Times about the latest development in the world of college football recruiting coverage.
ESPN announced Monday that more than 40 high school seniors have accepted invitations for the first ESPNU High School All-American Game on Jan. 5 at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla. The game will be broadcast by ABC on the same day at almost the same time that the U.S. Army All-American Bowl will be played at the Alamodome in San Antonio on NBC.There is a lot of soap opera-ish stuff going on now with the major recruiting sites. Scout, which has exclusive media access rights to the U.S. Army Bowl, is rumored to be merging with MySpace. Competitor Rivals was just purchased by Yahoo, which surely will find a way to increase the exposure of their latest acquisition. And ESPN is making the biggest moves, not only with the bowl games, but by snapping up the individual school recruiting communities that are splintering off of Scout. If you're interested in the backstory to all of this, the linked stories should provide plenty of information.
So, just as those players are asked to make early commitments on college choices, now all-star game recruiters are asking them for early commitments to their events.
If you're not interested in the corporate drama and are wondering how all of this pertains to Notre Dame, here you go. The need to sign up talented recruits before a rival All-Star game does -- and this certainly has the potential to get ugly in the near future -- has already led to the release of many names playing in the bowl games, something that in years past was withheld until later in the year.
The initial ESPN roster featured two Irish commits in Braxston Cave and Jamoris Slaughter. A recent release of additional names includes big, bad Omar Hunter.
Meanwhile, names already linked to the U.S. Army Bowl include Irish recruits Dayne Crist, mentioned in the article linked at the top of this post, and Ethan Johnson, mentioned here. I suspect more names will pop up as we get closer to the season.