Feb. 4, 2004
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Seventeen high school seniors have signed national letters of intent with plans to enroll at the University of Notre Dame in August 2004 and play for the Irish football squad.
The 17 players come from 11 states – California (4), New Jersey (3), Michigan (2), Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Ohio and Tennessee.
As listed by position, the Irish add to their roster four defensive backs, three offensive linemen (one could play on the defensive line), two defensive ends (one could play strongside linebacker), three linebackers (one could play safety), two running backs, two quarterbacks and one wide receiver — though many of the players played multiple positions in high school and could move to other spots once they arrive on campus.
Among the 17 players are:
- Three players rated among the top 100 nationally by ESPN.com – running back Darius Walker (63rd), defensive back Terrail Lambert (85th) and outside linebacker Anthony Vernaglia (95th).
- Four players rated among the top 150 nationally by collegefootballnews.com — Vernaglia (98th), running back Justin Hoskins (124th), Walker (139th) and Lambert (140th).
- One member of the 20-player “Best of the Midwest” team selected by the Detroit Free-Press – defensive end Ronald Talley (11th).
- Two players named Gatorade player of the year in their home states – Hoskins (Michigan) and Walker (Georgia).
- Two players who played in the U.S. Army All-America game in San Antonio last month -offensive lineman John Kadous and Vernaglia.
- Three players who attended the Notre Dame football camp in the summer of 2003 – Hoskins, Kadous and lineman Brandon Nicolas.
University of Notre Dame Football
National Letter-of-Intent Signees
|Name||Pos.||Ht.||Wt.||Hometown (High School)|
|Banda, Abdel||LB||6-2||215||Orange, NJ (Delbarton)|
|Bragg, Darrin||QB||6-2||185||San Jose, CA (Bellarmine Prep)|
|Brown, Justin||DE/SAM||6-4||225||Clinton, MD (Bishop McNamara)|
|Crum, Maurice, Jr.||LB||6-1||215||Riverview, FL (Tampa Bay Tech)|
|Duerson, Tregg||DB/KR||5-10||170||Highland Park, IL (Loyola)|
|Ferrine, Leo||DB||6-0||180||Springfield, NJ (St. Peter’s Prep)|
|Hoskins, Justin||RB||6-0||195||Grand Rapids, MI (Creston)|
|Incarnato, Chauncey||OL||6-6||280||Dover, OH (Dover)|
|Jabbie, Junior||DB||5-11||190||Parlin, NJ (The Hun School)|
|Kadous, John||OL||6-7||310||Tucson, AZ (Salpointe Catholic)|
|Lambert, Terrail||DB||5-10||190||Oxnard, CA (St. Bonaventure)|
|Nicolas, Brandon||DL/OL||6-5||275||Santa Ana, CA (Mater Dei)|
|Talley, Ronald||DE||6-4||245||Oak Park, MI (Renaissance)|
|Vaughn, Chris||WR||6-4||205||New Haven, CT (St. Thomas More)|
|Vernaglia, Anthony||OLB/SS||6-4||220||Anaheim Hills, CA (Orange Lutheran)|
|Walker, Darius||RB||5-11||200||Lawrenceville, GA (Buford)|
|Wolke, David||QB||6-4||205||Mt. Juliet, TN (Smyrna)|
University of Notre Dame Football
National Letter-of-Intent Signees
Banda, Abdel (LB, 6-2, 215, Orange, NJ – Delbarton) – Finished senior campaign with 45 tackles, 10 for losses, and two sacks on team that finished 8-3 and made it to second round of New Jersey prep playoffs . . . won all-league honors at linebacker at The Delbarton School in Morristown, N.J., and also played some as running back in ’03 . . . made 75 tackles, six sacks, caused two fumbles ands recovered another as junior outside linebacker while also playing as defensive end in passing situations in ’02 . . . moved to United States from Ghana at age 11 and didn’t play organized football until he was a freshman in high school . . . from same high school as former Notre Dame basketball All-American Troy Murphy . . . formerly a standout soccer player . . . won conference indoor track title in 50 meters in January 2004 in 6.86 . . . won league outdoor title in 100 meters in spring of ’03 at 11.2.
Bragg, Darrin (QB, 6-2, 185, San Jose, CA – Bellarmine Prep) – Second-team pick at quarterback on San Jose Mercury-News all-Central Coast Section team . . . threw for 1,904 yards and 17 touchdowns as senior starter on 7-4 team in 2003 at Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose, Calif. . . . helped team to CIF Central Coast Section Division I semifinals before falling to eventual champion Palma (he threw for 181 yards in that contest), coming off 38-34 quarterfinal victory over second-seeded Oak Grove in which he threw for 343 yards . . . brother Craig was junior wide receiver at UCLA in ’03 – he led Bruins with 73 catches for 1,065 yards and five TDs and also returned 38 punts for 302 yards.
Brown, Justin (DE/SAM, 6-4, 225, Clinton, MD – Bishop McNamara) – Made 65 solo tackles, nine sacks and three fumble recoveries in ’03 in first season of organized football as defensive lineman at Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, Md. . . . also played basketball at Bishop McNamara.
Crum, Maurice, Jr. (LB, 6-1, 215, Riverview, FL – Tampa Bay Tech) – First-team linebacker on Florida Class 3A all-state team selected by Florida Sports Writers Association . . . an all-Hillsborough County first-team pick at linebacker as senior by Tampa Tribune . . . made 68 tackles as senior in ’03 at Tampa Bay Tech High School in Tampa, Fla. . . . had 103 tackles, 60 solo, as junior in ’02, plus three interceptions and two sacks . . . served as team captain as junior and was named all-county and all-conference . . . selected for Hillsborough County All-Star game in December ’03 – and won defensive MVP honors in that contest . . . father Maurice, Sr., played collegiately at Miami, winning first-team All-America honors as senior in 1990 and leading ‘Canes in tackles for three straight years.
Duerson, Tregg (DB/KR, 5-10, 170, Highland Park, IL – Loyola) – Helped Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Ill., to ’03 Chicago Prep Bowl and 10-4 record . . . honorable mention all-state pick in Illinois by Chicago Tribune . . . rushed for 1,600 yards and 21 touchdowns and also returned kicks – and totaled five TDs in postseason . . . son of former Irish defensive back and captain Dave Duerson (1979-82) who went on to win Super Bowl rings with Chicago Bears and New York Giants and currently is member of Notre Dame’s board of trustees and president of Notre Dame National Monogram Club . . . played on same Loyola basketball team in ’03-’04 as sons of former Chicago Bull Michael Jordan and former Chicago Bear Matt Suhey.
Ferrine (fuh-REEN), Leo (DB, 6-0, 180, Springfield, NJ – St. Peter’s Prep) – Earned New Jersey third-team all-state honors as senior safety by Newark Star-Ledger . . . scored 15 touchdowns in 2003, scoring five different ways . . . caught 27 passes for 10 TDs on 10-1 team in ’03 . . . made four interceptions to go with 55 tackles and nine sacks in ’03 . . . helped team outscore its first eight ’03 opponents 373-0 on way to eight straight wins . . . played for Bishop Francis Essex Catholic High School in East Orange, N.J., through junior season until it closed, then played for St. Peter’s Prep School in Jersey City, N.J., as senior.
Hoskins, Justin (RB, 6-0, 195, Grand Rapids, MI – Creston) – Gatorade player of the year in state of Michigan for ’03 . . . rated 124th on collegefootballnews.com list of top 150 prospects nationally (and 18th among running backs) . . . first-team selection as running back on ’03 Associated Press Michigan Class A all-state team . . . listed 41st on Rivals.com Midwest Major 50 team . . . named to Detroit Free-Press Michigan Division 2 first team . . . two-time selection as running back on Grand Rapids Press Dream Team . . . led Creston High School in Grand Rapids, Mich., to fifth straight playoff appearance in ’03 . . . three-year two-way starter . . . rushed 209 times for 1,621 yards and 19 touchdowns during ’03 regular season, also catching 20 passes for 134 yards and two more TDs and completing all three of his passes for 71 yards and one score . . . averaged 37 yards as punter and also ran back one punt and one kickoff for TDs . . . rushed for 144 yards and two TDs in playoff opener . . . made 60 tackles (21 solo) on defense as senior, including three tackles for loss, two sacks, one interception (returned for TD) and four passes broken up . . . rushed 190 times as junior in ’02 for 1,645 yards and 19 TDs . . . had more than 300 yards receiving to go with 51 tackles in ’02 . . . won Michigan prep long jump title as sophomore at 23-11 1/4 – and improved his best to 24-1 1/4 as junior . . . attended Notre Dame summer football camp in ’03.
Incarnato (in-car-NOT-oh), Chauncey (OL, 6-6, 280, Dover, OH — Dover) – Associated Press Division III all-Ohio special mention pick as senior and junior at Dover High School in Dover, Ohio . . . first-team offensive lineman on AP Eastern Division III all-district team for ’03 and ’02 . . . three-year letterwinner as two-way starter, playing offensive left tackle and noseguard . . . never gave up sack as senior offensive lineman . . . set school record for pancake blocks in game, season and career . . . made 58 solo tackles, 40 assists, 15 tackles for loss and five sacks as senior defensive lineman . . . helped team to 10-1 mark in ’03 on offense that averaged 37.9 points per game . . . made 76 tackles, four sacks and recovered nine fumbles (also caused four fumbles) as junior in ’02 on 8-2 squad . . . selected for Big 33 all-star game . . . competed in wrestling as heavyweight and threw the shot put in track . . . father is former wrestler at Ohio University.
Jabbie, Junior (DB, 5-11, 190, Parlin, NJ – The Hun School) – All-prep running back pick by Trenton Times as senior . . . finished 2003 season with 1,200 all-purpose offensive yards and 18 touchdowns on 7-2 team . . . played both ways and led team in rushing and scoring in ’03 – and also made four interceptions . . . spent one year at The Hun School in Princeton, N.J., after graduating from Sayreville War Memorial High School in Parlin, N.J. . . . current Irish linebacker Brandon Hoyte is also a Sayreville War Memorial graduate.
Kadous (kuh-DEUCE), John (OL, 6-7, 310, Tucson, AZ – Salpointe Catholic) – First-team pick as offensive lineman on Arizona Republic Arizona Class 5A all-state team for ’03 at Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson, Ariz. . . . listed 54th on Rivals.com Super West 60 team . . . first-team selection as offensive lineman on Tucson Citizen Football All-Star team for ’03 . . . played as offensive guard and defensive tackle, as three-year starter . . . helped team to number-four state ranking and quarterfinals of Arizona high school playoffs to go with final 9-3 mark that included six straight wins . . . helped Salpointe Catholic offense average 36.7 points per contest . . . played in U.S. Army All-American Bowl prep all-star game in January in San Antonio . . . helped team to 12-1 mark as junior and earned Arizona all-state honors in ’02 . . . attended Notre Dame summer football camp in ’03.
Lambert, Terrail (tuh-RELL) (DB, 5-10, 190, Oxnard, CA – St. Bonaventure) – Rated 85th on ESPN.com list of top 100 players nationally . . . listed 140th on collegefootballnews.com list of top 150 prospects nationally (and eighth among cornerbacks) . . . stood 28th on Rivals.com Super West 60 team . . . second-team pick as defensive back on California all-state team selected by Cal-Hi Sports . . . first-team selection as defensive back on Los Angeles Times all-star team . . . made 87 tackles, three sacks and had one interception (returned 92 yards for a touchdown) as senior in ’03 at St. Bonaventure School in Ventura, Calif. . . . also carried the ball 13 times on offense for 133 yards and two TDs and had one receiving TD . . . made 66 tackles, 11 sacks as junior in ’02, to go with 12 rushing attempts for 245 yards, two TDs . . . cousin of former St. Bonaventure and current Florida State running back Lorenzo Booker . . . former prep teammate of current Irish offensive lineman James Bonelli . . . father is Chicago native and Indiana State graduate.
Nicolas, Brandon (DL/OL, 6-5, 275, Santa Ana, CA – Mater Dei) – Named to Los Angeles Times prep all-star team as one of five offensive linemen . . . listed 52nd on Rivals.com Super West 60 team . . . co-MVP of Serra League by Orange County Register . . . two-way starter at tackle at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif. . . . second-team all-state pick as offensive linemen by Cal-Hi Sports . . . named to Orange County Register all-county team for ’03 as offensive lineman . . . made 60 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, five sacks in ’03 . . . helped Mater Dei to 8-5 mark and CIF-Southern Section Division I semifinal in ’03 . . . made 76 tackles, 22 stops for loss, five sacks and three blocked kicks as junior in ’02 . . . named all-CIF Southern Section as second-team defensive lineman in ’02, as well as to CIF-Southern Section Division I first team on defense . . . finished career with nearly 200 tackles and 15 sacks . . . attended Notre Dame summer football camp in ’03 . . . from same high school that produced former Irish players John Huarte (’64 Heisman Trophy winner and quarterback), Larry Williams (1984 Irish captain and offensive tackle), Brad Williams (1996-99 defensive lineman) and Mike McNair (1998-2002 fullback).
Talley, Ronald (DE, 6-4, 245, Oak Park, MI – Renaissance) – Rated 11th on Best in the Midwest team by Detroit Free-Press . . . named to Free-Press Division 4 all-state team and also Free-Press all-Detroit first team as defensive lineman for ’03 . . . made 80 tackles, 42 solo and 38 assists, as senior, adding 12 tackles for loss and five sacks at Renaissance High School in Detroit, Mich. . . . honorable mention pick on ’03 Detroit News all-metro squad . . . helped Renaissance to 6-4 mark as senior . . . had 122 tackles and 30 tackles for loss as junior in ’02.
Vaughn, Chris (WR, 6-4, 205, New Haven, CT – St. Thomas More) – Caught 20 passes as senior for 650 yards and 14 touchdowns for St. Thomas More School in Oakdale, Conn. . . . also played as defensive back . . . previously had been a standout prep basketball player before electing to concentrate on football.
Vernaglia (ver-NAG-lee-uh), Anthony (OLB/SS, 6-4, 220, Anaheim Hills, CA – Lutheran) – Rated 95th on ESPN.com list of top 100 players nationally . . . listed 98th on list of top 150 prospects by collegefootballnews.com (and 28th among linebackers) . . . rated 13th on Rivals.com Super West 60 team . . . named to Los Angeles Times prep all-star team as one of three linebackers . . . MVP of Empire League by Orange County Register . . . named to Orange County Register all-county team as receiver at Lutheran High School in Orange, Calif. . . . second-team California all-state pick as multi-purpose selection by Cal-Hi Sports . . . all-CIF pick as both junior and senior . . . starter at both linebacker and wide receiver . . . helped team to CIF-Southern Section Division VI title game . . . caught 42 passes in ’03 for 631 yards and nine touchdowns . . . rushed for two TDs and 75 yards as senior and completed 35-yard pass for another . . . had 88 tackles, four sacks, one interception and three fumble recoveries on defense in ’03 . . . caught seven passes vs. both Long Beach Millikan (131 yards, two TDs) and La Mirada (107 yards one TD) in ’03 . . . played in U.S. Army All-American Bowl prep all-star game in January in San Antonio . . . helped Lutheran to 12-1 mark in ’03, including Empire League . . . caught 48 passes for more than 800 yards and 14 TDs as junior, also making 70 tackles and 12 sacks . . . father Kip lettered in football as receiver at Penn State in 1979.
Walker, Darius (RB, 5-11, 200, Lawrenceville, GA – Buford) – Rated 63rd on ESPN.com list of top 100 players nationally . . . listed 139th on collegefootballnews.com list of top 150 prospects (and 19th among running backs) . . . rated 75th on Rivals.com Southeast Elite 88 team . . . one of 30 players on EA Sports All-America team in Student Sports . . . rushed for 2,406 yards and 46 TDs (a Georgia High School Association single-season record, breaking Herschel Walker’s previous mark of 42 ground scores) as senior in 2003 . . . helped Buford High School in Buford, Ga., to 15-0 record and third straight Georgia Class 3A state title in ’03 as part of 45-game winning streak . . . named Georgia prep player of the year for ’03 by Atlanta Journal-Constitution . . . named Gatorade player of the year in Georgia . . . third-team pick on Fox Sports Net All-South team . . . first-team running back and offensive player of the year in ’03 on Atlanta Journal-Constitution Class AA all-state team . . . one of 16 running backs on Super Southern 100 team named by Atlanta Journal-Constitution . . . career totals featured 5,675 rushing yards and 91 TDs . . . rushed for 1,985 yards and 26 touchdowns as junior in ’02 on 15-0 Buford squad, also earning Georgia Class AA all-state honors that season . . . added 1,003 rushing yards and 15 TDs on 15-0 Buford team as sophomore in ’01 . . . helped team to four-year record of 58-2 and four straight Georgia Class AA state title games . . . father Jimmy played on defensive line at Arkansas under former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz.
Wolke (WOL-key), David (QB, 6-4, 205, Mt. Juliet, TN – Smyrna) -Threw for 15 touchdowns and 1,850 yards as senior in 2003, rushing for eight other scores . . . helped Smyrna High School in Smyrna, Tenn., to 9-3 mark in ’03 and second round of Tennessee Class 5A playoffs . . . one of 10 quarterbacks on Super Southern 100 team named by Atlanta Journal-Constitution . . . threw for 2,100 yards and 17 TDs as junior in ’02 – and ended up with career totals of 429 completions on 797 attempts for 6,232 yards and 54 TDs . . . became quarterback starter midway through freshman season at Smyrna.