Notre Dames social media brush fire spreading quickly
Posted: 01/11/2013 at 1:15 am
By: Bill Beck
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Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly sits in the driver's seat of the bus that will take him and the players to the hotel after arriving in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013. Notre Dame takes on Alabama in the BCS national championship NCAA college football game next Monday in Miami. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly talks to Everett Golson during the first half of the BCS National Championship college football game against Alabama Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, in Miami. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly talks to players during the first half of the BCS National Championship college football game against Alabama Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, in Miami. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Damage control is in full swing.
After reports surfaced late Wednesday that head football coach Brian Kelly had a rendezvous with the Philadelphia Eagles one day after losing to Alabama, concerns hit the social media sphere about ND recruits. By mid-afternoon, one five-star recruit had decommitted.
Standout linebacker Alex Anzalone said via Twitter Thursday that he will enroll at Florida. Anzalone, a 6-foot-3, 229-pound inside linebacker from Wyomissing, Pa., was scheduled to early enroll to Notre Dame on Saturday. Other early enrollees scheduled to star this weekend are offensive lineman Steve Elmer, tight end Mike Heuerman, wide receiver James Onwualu, wideout Corey Robinson, and quarterback Malik Zaire.
Anzalone was rated the No.11 prospect by ESPNís Top 150 recruiting list.
According to cbssports.com, Anzalone was previously committed to Ohio State after visiting the Buckeyes for their spring game and making his pledge on the trip but later decommitted after learning he came into contact with a convicted sex offender when taking a photo. He also reportedly gave serious consideration to Penn State.
On the flipside, other recruits reaffirmed their commitment to South Bend, including prized Fort Wayne All-Stater Jaylon Smith.
Smith, rated the No.2 linebacker in the nation, posted on his Twitter account Wednesday night that heís in for the long haul.
ďIf Kelly leaves!!!!! ... Iím still a domer (shoutout) to my ND fans,Ē tweeted Smith, who helped Luers to a fourth straight IHSAA Class 2A state title in November.
John Montelus, a 6-5, 295-pound offensive lineman, from Everett, Mass, tweeted Thursday, ďIím never leaving.Ē
The question about Kelly, though, has yet to be ironed out.
Two days before the BCS national championship game, Kelly carefully fielded questions about the NFL, which including the Eagles, has six openings.
ďWhen I took the job at Notre Dame, I think I said it was a dream job,Ē Kelly said at NDís BCS Media Day press conference. ďBut I never went around day to day anything about being the Notre Dame head coach, because the job that I had in hand was what I was thinking about.
ďAnd I think thatís the same thing with the NFL. I think from my perspective Iíve got the best job in the country, NFL, college, high school, whatever. I just look at the place that Iím at and thankful for the opportunity that I have.Ē
Now, with other high-profile college coaches being linked to NFL searches, Kellyís name has taken off like a brushfire on Twitter and Facebook. The Fighting Irish are faced with answering a lot of questions in the coming days.
ESPN and Rivals.com had Notre Dame with the No.1 recruiting class for 2013. With Anzalone going to the Gators, Rivals.com dropped ND to No.2 on Thursday afternoon.
The first national letter of intent signing date is Feb. 6 and early enrollees hit campus this weekend. According to ESPN, nine of Notre Dameís 22 recruits are in the top 150 of the incoming national class, the same as Alabama.
Manti Teío and Theo Riddick topped the seniors who will graduate and coveted tight end Tyler Eifert announced Monday night that he will not return for 2013.
Kelly said that the NFL ďis not an optionĒ on Saturday, but he didnít exactly slam the door closed, either.
ďFor me to say Iíll never coach in the NFL, I have no idea,Ē he said during an interview session at Sun Lite Stadium. ďIím not trying to be evasive. Itís the truth of the matter. Itís all about timing
ďThis is the biggest game that Iíve ever been involved in, so my focus is 100 percent on this football game. All that other stuff, that happens when youíre winning football games. Iíve been through this a lot in my career. Itís flattering if there is interest, which I donít know that there is. But again, that is such a secondary topic for me right now. Itís all about this game.Ē