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January 31, 2010

Irish add a trio

If Brian Kelly is nearly as successful recruiting the class of 2011 as he was this weekend, Notre Dame's recruiting classes will rank among the best in the nation.

Kelly and his staff hosted seven prospects who remain uncommitted or are on the verge of changing their commitment and as of Sunday morning he'd already received verbal commitments from three of them: athlete Derek Roback, quarterback Luke Massa and defensive end Bruce Heggie.

Danny Spond, Matt James, Jeremy Ioane and Kona Schwenke have yet to announce their fates, although Notre Dame appears to be in solid shape with all four.

Roback, a 6-foot-3, 221-pounder from Waverly, Ohio, had committed to Toledo but received an offer from Notre Dame last week. His last minute visit to South Bend was enough to sway him to Notre Dame.

"You can make it public, I'm a Fighting Irish," Roback said via text message moments after speaking with the Irish coaches.

Roback played quarterback at Waverly High School the past two seasons but was an all-state wide receiver as a sophomore. Kelly recruited Roback as an athlete.

Like Roback, Massa had been previously committed to another school before receiving a late offer from the Irish. After visiting South Bend this weekend Massa changed his commitment from Cincinnati to Notre Dame.

"I picked ND because I believe in coach Kelly and his whole staff," Massa said. "I also love the tradition, the environment and the Catholic education."

Massa, a 6-foot-4, 205-pounder from St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, becomes the third quarterback to commit to the Irish this year.

Bruce Heggie's story is similar to that of Roback and Massa, but Heggie arrived in South Bend without an offer and will leave as a member of the Irish family. The 6-foot-4, 235-pounder from Mount Dora, Fla., was a late addition to the visitor list and he picked up an offer during the trip. He committed shortly thereafter.

Now, Kelly and staff will await word from the other four prospects that remain in play as the weekend nears its conclusion with signing day rapidly approaching.


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