Notre Dame Football Recruiting: Vanderdoes' Official Visit to Alabama Is Huge

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJanuary 31, 2013

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Ever since 5-star recruit Eddie Vanderdoes decommitted from USC in December, the nation has been buzzing about where the highly coveted defensive tackle will land.

Most people believe it comes down to Notre Dame and Alabama, with USC and UCLA on the outside looking in.

Andrew Hall of noted on Wednesday that Vanderdoes' official visit with Notre Dame over the weekend went well. It doesn't hurt that Vanderdoes' mother is in favor of the Fighting Irish.

Hall wrote:

Notre Dame definitely made a good impression this weekend. The parents are typically in the corner of the Fighting Irish because of what they can offer off of the field to the potential student athlete. 

Vanderdoes, who possesses the size (6'3", 310 pounds), strength, technique and motor to be a handful in college, is still scheduled to make an official visit to Alabama on Feb. 1. He has been adamant that he will make his decision on national signing day on Feb. 6.

The fact that Vanderdoes hasn't canceled his visit to Alabama shows that he's still interested in the Crimson Tide. It's not exactly a surprise, either, given he wants to make the best decision for him with so many options on the table.

Nick Saban, of course, is a legendary recruiter. He's built the No. 1 recruiting class of 2013 (according to and he's had a top-three recruiting class for six years running (per ESPN). His stars this year include running back Derrick Henry, wide receiver Robert Foster and defensive end Jonathan Allen, among others.

On the other hand, Notre Dame's trip to the BCS National Championship Game this past season has boosted the program's credibility. Combined with head coach Brian Kelly's recruiting ability, the Fighting Irish currently have the No. 6 class in the nation, according to That includes outside linebacker Jaylon Smith and safety Max Redfield on the defensive side of the ball.

While Notre Dame currently sports Louis Nix III at nose guard in defensive coordinator Bob Diaco's 3-4 scheme, the Fighting Irish will find a way to get Vanderdoes on the field if he signs with the program, most likely as a defensive end (despite Vanderdoes' size, he does have the athleticism to play on the edge).

Imagining Vanderdoes on the same defense as Nix, Smith, Redfield, defensive end Stephon Tuitt and linebacker Prince Shembo gives you goosebumps just thinking about it.

The folks at South Bend are certainly hoping Vanderdoes won't be swayed by Saban in February.

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