Jan. 17, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame football team added four players to its roster Tuesday, head coach Brian Kelly announced.
The Irish added one transfer student and three early-enrollee freshmen to the football squad.
Running back Amir Carlisle (Santa Clara, Calif./Kings Academy/USC) transferred to Notre Dame after attending the first semester of his freshman year at the University of Southern California.
Defensive lineman Sheldon Day (Indianapolis, Ind./Warren Central), quarterback Gunner Kiel (Columbus, Ind./Columbus East) and defensive back Tee Shepard (Fresno, Calif./Washington Union) graduated from their respective high schools last December.
The four players signed their scholarship forms and were enrolled at the University Tuesday, the first day of the 2012 spring semester at Notre Dame.
Carlisle played in eight games for the Trojans in 2011. He totaled 19 rushes for 118 yards (6.2 yards per carry) and posted seven receptions for 41 yards with one touchdown. His best game for USC came at Colorado when Carlisle led the Trojans with 90 yards on 10 carries and caught two passes for 31 yards, including a 19-yard TD reception.
As a senior at Kings Academy, Carlisle was named a 2010 high school All-American by Parade and SuperPrep after gaining 2,110 rushing yards (averaged 10.0 yards per carry) and 28 TDs. He also caught 12 passes for 231 yards (19.3 average) with three TDs. In his high school career, Carlisle rushed for 5,108 yards (11.0 yards per carry) with 73 rushing TDs and posted 26 career 100-yard rushing games in 28 high school games.
“I’m really excited to be here at Notre Dame. I had great respect for the school and football program when I went through the recruiting process a year ago and I’m proud to be enrolled here. I know this will be a great fit for me and I can’t wait to get started.”
Day was a second-team selection on the SI.com High School All-America team. The Indianapolis Star Super Team Player of the Year for 2011 was also runner-up for 2011 Indiana Mr. Football award chosen by Indiana Football Coaches Association. Day made 55 tackles including 12 for loss, nine sacks, 12 quarterback pressures and recovered two fumbles as a senior. He helped Warren Central to 11-1 record in 2011, with the only loss occurring in the sectional final to eventual Indiana 5A champion Carmel.
“I’m excited to get here and get started on my classwork and to start the conditioning program with Coach (Paul) Longo,” Day said. “I really liked meeting the guys during my recruiting process and I’m excited to start workouts with them this winter.”
Many internet scouting services rated Kiel the top quarterback recruit in the nation this year. The 2011 Indiana Mr. Football passed for 2,517 yards and 28 TDs as a senior and rushed for 482 yards and 11 TDs. He helped lead Columbus East High School to the Indiana state 4A semifinals as a senior and was named the Gatorade Indiana Player of the Year. Kiel passed for 7,175 yards in his high school career.
“This recruitment process was a roller-coaster ride at times, but I know I have made the right decision for my family and me,” Kiel said. “There were three critical elements I was looking for in my future school: the quality of education I would receive, the distance from home and the comfort level I would have with the players and coaches in the football program. Notre Dame was the perfect fit for me because it hit all three areas.
“Coach Kelly was great throughout my recruitment, as many times our conversations had nothing do with football. That really showed me he had my best intentions in mind. He was persistent yet also patient while recruiting me and I look forward to playing for him the next four years. I couldn’t be happier to be a member of the Fighting Irish football team. I’m excited about the future of the program.”
Shepard was rated the third-best cornerback in his class by Scout.com and the number-36 player nationally by MaxPreps and Tom Lemming. Shepard was forced to sit out his senior season after transferring from Central East High School in Fresno. He made 10 interceptions in his high school career and played in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in Phoenix.
“I’m really happy to part of the Notre Dame football family,” Shepard said. “This is a special place and I’m excited to finally be here. Getting a jump start on my training and in my classes can only help me for the future.”
Additions to Notre Dame football team:
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School)
Amir Carlisle^ RB 5-10 180 Santa Clara, CA (Kings Academy)
Sheldon Day* DL 6-2 286 Indianapolis, IN (Warren Central)
Gunner Kiel* QB 6-4 220 Columbus, IN (Columbus East)
Tee Shepard* DB 6-1 186 Fresno, CA (Washington Union)
^ – Transfer from USC
* – Early-enrollee freshman