Saturday, August 15, 2009

Just the Links, ma'am | by Jay

Like you, I've been reading all the reports and watching the video clips from practice over the past week from a variety of news sources. Many of the media sites have an index or summary page, and I find that that's what I've been bookmarking. Here's my daily "hit list" of links for practice coverage. These will take you not to the front page of the sites, but rather a stripped-down index page for easy reference.

If you have any others to suggest, please leave them in the comments.

I've also been jotting a few notes on what I've seen and heard so far; obviously, a lot of the reports are full of fluff and filler ("During the stretches, Olsen stretched his right leg out...and then his left..."), and you get your share of rosy outlooks ("Riddick looks like a young Reggie Bush out there"), but every day there are at least a few nuggets of interest to uncover.

Here's one. In Charlie's presser on Friday, he talked about how current players on the roster are involved in the recruiting process. I'd never heard him describe this aspect of recruiting much, and it was illuminating to hear how integral the current players are, and how they help to shape the next class.
Q: How vital are the [current] players, especially in the summer, to the recruiting process?

Charlie Weis: I say to anyone who visits here when they're on campus, the number one reason why they'll end up coming here is because of our players [already on the team]. We don't ever tell the players what to say. We just say [to the recruits], 'Go ask 'em.' To a man, you can ask anyone who ever goes on a visit here, usually the greatest impression is made -- more than the coaching staff, more than the lady on the Dome, more than academic support, more than walking around on game day -- it's the players. It's the camaraderie, and how they feel around the players. Ninety percent of the time, that's the [greatest impression].

Q: When Justin Tuck was here, he seemed to host a lot of recruits. Are there guys who seem to do better in that role than others?

Weis: Well, we try to match personalities. It depends on the guy coming in here. Some guys come in who want to hang out in the dorms, and play video games. Well, we have some guys who think they are video game gurus [laughs]. We have other guys who want to see the town. We have those guys too. It's important to match up's part of your due diligence when you study a recruit. What's the kid like? And you want to surround them with kids who are similar to them.

Q: Is there then a debriefing? Do you get together with your players after the visit?

Weis: I only really talk to them if there's a problem. If they go out on a Saturday night and it's not the type of kid we're looking for, they immediately get ahold of us and tell us. And we're out of it. We're done. So if a kid comes here on a visit, and our players come back and say hey, we had curfew, and the kid wouldn't go back, or something like that, well, we're out. We say thank you for the visit, and we're moving on.

You have to give your players a voice. We're holding them accountable, well then they have to hold me accountable. If someone's not going to fit what we're looking for at Notre Dame, then we're going to have to go in another direction.

Q: How often does that happen?

Weis: Seldom. But it certainly has happened. There are times where everyone says, "Well, Notre Dame lost that guy..." You're right, we lost him, but we lost him for the right reason. Seldom, but it does happen.