Friday, June 06, 2008

Ohio Player | by Pat

An end of the week trip to campus resulted in Notre Dame's sixth public commitment in the recruiting class of 2009. Ohio linebacker Dan Fox trekked to South Bend to meet with the coaches one last time and commit in person.

There is a story behind the Fox family and Notre Dame you'll be sure to hear again. When Fox's grandfather came to the United States from Ireland in the 1930's, his first job was at ND after striking out in Chicago. I can just hear Jimmy Roberts getting the smaltzy halftime special ready now.

At 6'4", 215 pounds, Fox played safety for his high school but will man one of the outside linebacker spots for the Fighting Irish. A rangy player, Fox's skills at blitzing and dropping back into coverage make him an ideal candidate for the outside spot in the 3-4. His biggest job now will be to add size and strength, something his coach doesn't think will be a problem.

"They see a very athletic young man who plays a major role in three sports," Kyle said of Fox, who also plays for St. Ignatius' basketball and track teams. "When he's able to concentrate on just one sport I think he'll be 240-245 pounds in the next few years. He was being recruited east coast to west coast."
Fox's offers indeed are coast to coast, as he picked ND over offers from Stanford, Virginia, MSU, Pittsburgh, and others. Those aren't Top 10 programs, but they are programs that have a history of spotting linebacker talent. His rankings on the recruiting sites are a bit of a mixed bag. On, he is a 4-star recruit and the 13th overall outside linebacker. has yet to evaluate him and ESPN has him checking in with a 76 ranking score, which is one of the lower scores they have given an ND recruit in the past few years.

His highlight video does show a talented athlete with plenty of potential, but also one that will need to hit the weight room in order to fill out for his eventual outside linebacker spot. One item to note is the fact that even at 6'4", 215 pounds, Fox competes on his high school track team in the 110M hurdles, where he was a regional qualifier. The assorted comparisons of Fox to Rocky Boiman, another Ohio safety turned linebacker, seem to fit as Fox has the frame to turn into a strong pass rusher and the speed to be useful when defending against the pass.