Notre Dame secures its next head men's basketball coach in Penn State's Micah Shrewsberry

UPDATE: Notre Dame football recruiting: Irish add elite TE Luatua to class

South Bend Tribune

In terms of impressive offer lists, La Mirada, Calif., tight end Tyler Luatua’s was, well, impressive.

The two teams that will play for the BCS National Championship — Florida State and Auburn — wanted his services. Ohio State and Oklahoma made their pitches. So too did Miami, Texas and USC, according to

Eventually Luatua whittled his choices to Alabama, where his brother plays, and Notre Dame.

“He could have basically attended any school in the country he wanted to go to,” said 247 national recruiting writer Steve Wiltfong.

The school to which he will go? Notre Dame, which won the Luatua sweepstakes Monday morning when he revealed that he had selected the Irish.

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Luatua became the 22nd high school player to pledge to Notre Dame’s 2014 recruiting class, and the third in a 24-hour span.

He joined linebackers Nile Sykes and Kolin Hill, both of whom verbally committed on Sunday after making official visits to ND over the weekend. Luatua visited Notre Dame in October for the USC game.

Luatua is the second tight end to join Notre Dame’s 2014 class, bolstering a class that already included Nic Weishar of the Chicago area.

Wiltfong identified three factors that aided Notre Dame in landing him. First, Luatua’s family became comfortable with the school. Second, Wiltfong pointed out the hard work put in by Mike Denbrock, Luatua’s lead recruiter.

“Coach Denbrock has been absolutely incredible,” said La Mirada coach Mike Moschetti, adding that Irish head coach Brian Kelly, along with assistants Scott Booker and Harry Hiestand, and former offensive coordinator Chuck Martin, who is now the head coach at Miami (Ohio), all visited the school. “In the end, Notre Dame did a great job.”

And third was the tight end lineage ND has built in recent years, a group that includes Anthony Fasano, John Carlson, Kyle Rudolph and Tyler Eifert, and current tight end Troy Niklas.

“His goal is to fit into the tight end tradition at Notre Dame, get his degree,” Moschetti said, “and hopefully win a national championship.”

Moschetti said Luatua has a vertical jump in the 40-inch range, and that he runs the 40-yard dash in 4.7 seconds. He pointed out that there are big, strong tight ends who can block but have a tough time getting open. Others, he said, can run, but can’t handle the physical part of the game.

ND will have both in Luatua.

“It’s hard to find a true tight end in this day and age,” Moschetti said. “He can run by corners and safeties. He’s as physical as any I’ve ever been around.”

As good as the on-field stuff is, though, Moschetti was just as quick to point out Luatua’s humility, discipline and school work.

“The off-the-field stuff is as good as I’ve ever had,” Moschetti said.

After landing three players in two days, the grind remains for the Irish staff. Wiltfong said that inside linebacker Nyles Morgan, another Chicago-area standout, will announce on Jan. 4, and he believes the Irish lead with him as well.

Monday, however, it was all about the tight end the Irish were able to land.

“It’s a big-time get,” Moschetti said, “for Notre Dame.”


Twitter: @BobWienekeNDI

Notre Dame assistant coach Mike Denbrock landed yet another West Coast standout when tight end Tyler Luatua became ND's 22nd commitment in the class of 2014 on Monday.