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    Football Announces 2002 Signees

    FIGHTING IRISH Notre Dame football coach Tyrone Willingham talks to the media about the 18 high school seniors who signed national letters of intent with Notre Dame.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Notre Dame football coach Tyrone Willingham talks to the media about the 18 high school seniors who signed national letters of intent with Notre Dame.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Eighteen high school seniors have signed national letters of intent with plans to enroll at the University of Notre Dame in August 2002 and play for the Irish football squad.

    The eighteen players come from 10 states - Pennsylvania (4), California (4), New Jersey (2), Texas (2), Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan and Minnesota.

    As listed by position, the Irish add to their roster five defensive linemen, four offensive linemen, two tight ends, two defensive backs, two running backs, two wide receivers and one quarterback -- though many of the players played multiple positions in high school and could move to other spots once they arrive on campus.

    Among the 18 players are:

  • One member of the Parade All-America team - defensive lineman Derek Landri (Concord, Calif.), who was rated the top lineman by Parade.

  • Two members of the USA Today prep All-America first team (Landri and wide receiver Maurice Stovall of Philadelphia, Pa.) and two members of the second team (defensive lineman Travis Leitko of the Woodlands, Texas, and offensive lineman Bob Morton of McKinney, Texas).

  • Five players rated among the top 100 nationally by the Chicago Sun-Times - Leitko (22nd), Stovall (32nd), Landri (51st), Frome (91st) and Morton (98th).

  • Two players rated among the top 101 on the CNNSI.com list of top national prospects - Landri (5th) and wide receiver Rhema McKnight (La Palma, Calif.).

  • Two players rated on The Sporting News Hot 101 list - McKnight (41st) and Landri (48th).

    Among the 18 are eight players who attended the Notre Dame football camp in the summer of 2001 - offensive lineman James Bonelli (Ventura, Calif.), defensive back Jake Carney (Louisville, Ken.), tight end Anthony Fasano (Verona, N.J.), tight end Marcus Freeman (St. Paul, Minn.), running back Jeff Jenkins (Ann Arbor, Mich.), Leitko, offensive lineman Jamie Ryan (Tamaqua, Pa.) and defensive lineman Dan Santucci (Chicago, Ill.).

    2002 University of Notre Dame
    Football National Letter-of-Intent Signees

    NamePosHt.Wt.Hometown (High School)
    Bonelli, JamesOL6-6285Ventura, CA (St. Bonaventure)
    Carney, JakeDB6-0180Lexington, KY (Catholic)
    Fasano, AnthonyTE6-4237Verona, NJ (Verona)
    Freeman, MarcusTE6-4240St. Paul, MN (Cretin-Derham Hall)
    Frome, ChrisDL6-5240Saugus, CA (Newhall Hart)
    Jenkins, JeffRB6-0195Ann Arbor, MI (Huron)
    Landri, DerekDL6-2275Concord, CA (De La Salle)
    Leitko, TravisDL6-6250The Woodlands, TX (The Woodlands)
    Mattes, BrianDL6-6250Larksville, PA (Wyoming Valley West)
    McKnight, RhemaWR6-2190La Palma, CA (Kennedy)
    Morton, BobOL6-4305McKinney, TX (McKinney)
    Olsen, ChrisQB6-4220Wayne, NJ (Wayne Hills)
    Raridon, ScottOL6-7285Mason City, IA (Mason City)
    Richardson, MikeDB6-1180Warner Robins, GA (Warner Robins)
    Ryan, JamieOL6-5285Tamaqua, PA (Marian Catholic)
    Santucci, DanDL6-5250Chicago, IL (St. Patrick)
    Schiccatano, NateRB6-3220Coal Township, PA (Southern Columbia)
    Stovall, MauriceWR6-5205Philadelphia, PA (Archbishop Carroll)

  • Bonelli (bo-NELL-ee), James(OL, 6-6, 285, Ventura, CA) - Offensive lineman of the year for Ventura County Football Coaches Association Small School team . . . named to CalHiSports.com California Small School all-state squad . . . named to Ventura County Star all-county team and all-California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section team . . . honorable mention pick on Las Vegas Sun Super 11 team . . . named to Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West team . . . helped team to three-year record of 42-0 and back-to-back CIF Southern Section Division XI titles, including 14-0 record as senior in '01 . . . helped St. Bonaventure to 56-16 triumph over Cerritos Valley Christian in '01 championship game . . . ranked as top blocker for record-setting St. Bonaventure running back Lorenzo Booker . . . played in U.S. Army All-America Bowl in San Antonio . . . attended Notre Dame summer football camp.

  • Carney, Jake (DB, 6-0, 180, Lexington, KY) - Named to Kentucky Associated Press all-state squad as defensive back . . . named to Louisville Courier-Journal all-star squad on defense . . . made 35 tackles, three interceptions, one fumble recovery, one sack, two tackles for loss and broke up four passes as senior in '01 . . . caught 14 passes for 238 yards and five touchdowns as receiver . . . had one kickoff return for a TD and led team with 254 kickoff return yards . . . helped team to 12-1 record and regional final berth . . . one of 22 seniors named to 2001 Class of the Commonwealth by Lexington Herald-Leader . . . made 55 tackles and intercepted five passes as junior in '00 when he earned all-city honors . . . finished as Lexington Catholic career leader in interceptions (10), interceptions returned for TDs (three), season kickoff return yards (489), career kickoff return yards (871), career TD kickoff returns (four) and longest kickoff return (93 yards) . . . chosen for U.S. Army All-America Bowl in San Antonio . . . born in Long Beach, Calif., and also lived in Colorado Springs, Colo., with his father in the Air Force . . . attended Notre Dame summer football camp.

  • Fasano (fuh-ZAN-oh), Anthony (TE, 6-4, 237, Verona, NJ) - First-team New Jersey all-state pick by Newark Star-Ledger . . . helped team to New Jersey state title among Group 1 schools . . . caught 78 passes for 1,460 yards and a county-record 23 touchdowns as senior in '01 . . . finished with 42 career TD receptions (a county record) . . . caught 42 passes for 744 yards and 12 TDs for 9-1 team as junior in '00 . . . had 168 career catches for more than 2,500 yards . . . made 69 tackles on defense as junior . . . played in U.S. Army All-America Bowl in San Antonio . . . won New Jersey Group I state title in javelin at 185-1 in '01 in first year competing in that event . . . attended Notre Dame summer football camp.

  • Freeman, Marcus (TE, 6-4, 240, St. Paul, MN) - Caught 20 passes for 300 yards and three touchdowns as senior in '01 . . . helped team to unbeaten regular season and 11-1 overall record as senior including berth in Minnesota Class AAAAA playoffs that ended in 15-13 quarterfinal loss to Alexandria . . . started several games as defensive end as sophomore, then moved to tight end as junior . . . had 16 catches, four for TDs, as junior in '00 . . . from same high school as cousin and current Irish linebacker Rashon Powers-Neal . . . played in U.S. Army All-America Bowl . . . attended Notre Dame summer football camp.

  • Frome (rhymes with chrome), Chris (DL, 6-5, 240, Saugus, CA) - First-team California all-state selection as defensive lineman by Los Angeles Times . . . rated 91st player nationally by Chicago Sun-Times . . . second-team pick on Las Vegas Sun Super 11 team . . . named to Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West team . . . second-team all-state pick in '01 as offensive lineman as selected by CalHiSports.com . . . made 62 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and five sacks as senior defensive lineman in '01 . . . had career totals of 190 tackles and 22 sacks . . . started on both offensive and defensive line for team that finished fourth in state in CalHiSports.com ratings after 13-0 season in '01 . . . played left offensive tackle for team regarded as having best prep passing offense in Southern California . . . selected as conference lineman of the year and California Interscholastic Federation co-defensive player of the year . . . helped team to third of three straight CIF Southern Section Division III crowns in '01 by virtue of playoff wins by 48-7, 38-9, 35-7, then 42-13 over Valencia in title clash . . . first player to start both ways for three seasons in 13-year tenure of Newhall Hart coach Mike Herrington . . . played in U.S. Army All-America Bowl in San Antonio.

  • Jenkins, Jeff (RB, 6-0, 195, Ann Arbor, MI) - Rushed for 1,427 yards and 21 touchdowns as senior in '01 . . . helped team to 9-2 mark as senior . . . attended Community High School, an academic alternative school, but played at Huron . . . captain of Detroit Free-Press Division I honor team . . . rushed for 1,451 yards and 20 TDs as junior and finished with more than 2,900 career rushing yards and 49 scores . . . named player of the year by Ann Arbor News . . . first-team Associated Press Class A all-state choice . . . attended Notre Dame summer football camp.

  • Landri, Derek (DL, 6-2, 275, Concord, CA) - First-team USA Today prep All-American . . . Parade prep All-American who was rated as top lineman on Parade squad . . . rated fifth on CNNSI.com list of top 101 prospects . . . listed 48th nationally on The Sporting News' Hot 101 list. . . rated 51st player nationally by Chicago Sun-Times . . . first-team pick on Las Vegas Sun Super 11 squad . . . named to Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West team . . . first-team offensive lineman on Student Sports All-America team . . . California Mr. Football State Player of the Year selection by CalHiSports.com . . . first-team all-state selection and State Lineman of the Year for '01 by CalHiSports.com . . . had 55 solo tackles, 75 assists and 9.5 sacks as defensive lineman (in 32 quarters of play) as senior in '01 on defensive unit that gave up only six touchdowns all season . . . helped team to 12-0 record as senior on squad that was consensus national prep champion. . . helped De La Salle to California Interscholastic Federation North Coast Section 4A crown (for 10th straight year) by virtue of 54-15, 45-0 and 48-13 victories in playoff action . . . his De La Salle team won Student Sports national championship for third time in four years . . . a starter in 37 straight games to end his career, while helping De La Salle improve its overall winning streak to a national high school record 125 consecutive games by end of '01 season - including 10 straight unbeaten seasons . . . became third De La Salle player to win state-player-of-the-year honor, following D.J. Williams in 1999 and Amani Toomer in 1991 (other winners include John Elway, Marcus Allen, Charles White, Pat Haden, Mike Garrett) . . . made 80 tackles, 17 sacks and knocked down 12 passes as junior in '00 . . . also a three-year starter on offense.

  • Leitko (LIGHT-ko), Travis (DL, 6-6, 250, The Woodlands, TX) - USA Today second-team prep All-American . . . rated 22nd player nationally by Chicago Sun-Times . . . made 96 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, seven sacks, two fumble recoveries, one fumble caused, one blocked field goal as senior in '01 . . . rated one of top 100 players in Texas by Houston Chronicle . . . Houston Chronicle first-team all-Greater Houston area pick . . . first-team all-Southwest defensive lineman by Student Sports . . . had 70 solo tackles, 30 assists, three fumble recoveries, three fumbles caused and 12 other tackles for loss as junior in '00 . . . played in U.S. Army All-America Bowl in San Antonio . . . from same high school as '00 and '01 Note Dame captain and defensive end Grant Irons . . . also competed in wrestling and track (discus) . . . attended Notre Dame summer football camp.

  • Mattes (MATT-iss), Brian (DL, 6-6, 250, Larksville, PA) - First-team Pennsylvania all-state pick at defensive end as junior in 2000 . . . made 70 tackles, with 13 sacks and nine tackles for loss, plus two blocked kicks on defense in '01 . . . also caught 34 passes as tight end for 400 yards and two touchdowns as senior, after 31 catches as junior in '00 and 20 as sophomore . . . had 74 tackles, 10 sacks, 11 tackles for loss as junior on defense . . . averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds in basketball as junior . . . played in U.S. Army All-America Bowl in San Antonio.

  • McKnight, Rhema (RAY-muh) (WR, 6-2, 190, La Palma, CA) - Rated as top player on Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West team . . . rated 28th player nationally by CNNSI.com and Student Sports . . . rated 41st on The Sporting News Hot 101 list. . . named to Las Vegas Sun Super 11 squad . . . caught 20 passes for 395 yards and four touchdowns as senior in '01 . . . rushed for 1,483 yards and 21 TDs as senior . . . also completed 50 percent of his passes for 451 yards and two TDs as quarterback most of '01 season as team lost in second round of playoffs . . . caught 62 passes for 1,142 yards and 15 TDs as junior in '00 while leading team to California Interscholastic Federation South Section Division VI semifinals . . . started at wide receiver and free safety as junior, also returning four punts for Ds in first five games . . . never played organized football until becoming a starter as high school sophomore at Kennedy.

  • Morton, Bob (OL, 6-4, 305, McKinney, TX) - Second-team pick as offensive lineman on USA Today prep All-America team . . .named to Dallas Morning News all-area team as senior offensive linemen in '01 . . . rated 98th player nationally by Chicago Sun-Times . . . did not permit a sack in '01 and led way for team that averaged 6.6 yards per rush . . . rated one of top 100 players in Texas by Houston Chronicle . . . three-year starter at McKinney . . . also can deep snap . . . named to Texas High School Coaches Association first-team academic all-state squad for Class 5A . . . played in U.S. Army All-America Bowl in San Antonio.

  • Olsen, Chris (QB, 6-4, 220, Wayne, NJ) - First-team New Jersey all-state pick by Newark Star-Ledger . . . threw for 1,900 yards and 24 touchdowns with only five interceptions as senior in '01 . . . earned first-team New Jersey all-state honors . . . his 10-2 Wayne Hills team fell to Ramapo in New Jersey Group III state title game . . . completed 98 of 152 passes as junior in '00 for 1,887 yards and 22 TDs . . . played for his father Chris Sr. in high school.

  • Raridon (RARE-uh-done), Scott (OL, 6-7, 285, Mason City, IA) - Gatorade Player of the Year in Iowa for 2001. . . . first-team Iowa Class 4-A all-state selection by Des Moines Register . . . helped Mason City to first playoff berth since 1985 . . . caught 40 passes for 432 yards and five touchdowns as tight end during senior season in '01 . . . 19 of his 23 third-down receptions were good for first downs . . . capable of handling long-snapping duties . . . rated as player to watch in state of Iowa on preseason basis for '01 by USA Today . . . caught eight passes for 84 yards as junior in 2000 . . . played in U.S. Army All-America Bowl in San Antonio . . . son of former Notre Dame strength and conditioning coordinator Scott Raridon, a former offensive tackle at Nebraska who was a graduate assistant coach at Notre Dame in 1986, then took over the strength and conditioning position the next two seasons.

  • Richardson, Mike (DB, 6-1, 180, Warner Robins, GA) - Caught 15 passes for 180 yards as senior in 2001 . . . rushed 70 times for 361 yards and nine touchdowns, despite missing four games in '01 with ankle sprain.

  • Ryan, Jamie (OL, 6-5, 285, Tamaqua, PA) - Played in only four games as senior in '01 due to blood clot in his neck . . . made 110 tackles and 11 sacks as junior in '00 as defensive tackle . . . three-year starter who was regular on both sides of the ball as senior . . . attended Notre Dame summer football camp.

  • Santucci (san-TWO-chee), Dan (DL, 6-5, 250, Chicago, IL) - Rated one of top 100 players in Chicago area by Chicago Sun-Times . . . had 50 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and nine sacks as senior in '01 . . . also played at tight end, averaging 15 yards per catch . . . helped team to 7-4 record including a playoff victory, coming off 2-7 finish in '00 . . . special mention pick on Chicago Tribune all-state team . . . named to Catholic League Metro White all-league team by Chicago Tribune . . . started both ways as junior in '00, catching 25 passes, eight for TDs, and making 60 tackles and 10 sacks . . . attended Notre Dame summer football camp.

  • Schiccatano (shick-uh-TAN-oh), Nate (RB, 6-3, 220, Coal Township, PA) - Helped Southern Columbia team to title games of Pennsylvania Class A playoffs in both '00 and '01 . . . rushed for more than 1,000 yards and 21 touchdowns as senior in '01 on 14-1 squad . . . rushed 18 times as junior for 1,380 yards and 22 TDs . . . caught 16 passes in '00 for 300 yards and four TDs . . . recorded 30 tackles and one interception on defense as junior . . . also played receiver, safety, linebacker and backup quarterback in '01 . . . played in U.S. Army All-America Bowl in San Antonio.

  • Stovall (STOW-vall), Maurice (WR, 6-5, 205, Philadelphia, PA) - First-team USA Today prep All-America pick . . . prep All-American on senior team selected by Student Sports . . . named co-Catholic League Player of the Year by Philadelphia Daily News . . . rated 32nd player nationally by Chicago Sun-Times . . . caught 31 passes for 743 yards and nine touchdowns as senior in '01 for Philadelphia Catholic League Blue Division champion team . . . returned four punts for TDs in '01 and returned five of his 11 interceptions for TDs as free safety on defense - with those nine return TDs a city record . . . caught 19 passes as junior, finishing Carroll career with 50 catches for 1,176 yards (23.5 average) and 15 TDs . . . helped team to 39-3 record and two division titles in three seasons . . . played in U.S. Army All-America Bowl in San Antonio.
     

     

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