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Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Some wins, setbacks so far for Irish

By Brian Bennett

It's been a mixed day so far for Notre Dame on the recruiting front.

The Irish got a big (literally) boost when offensive lineman Matt James of Cincinnati signed this morning. The 6-foot-7, 280-pounder who is ranked No. 14 among tackles by Scouts Inc. chose Notre Dame over Ohio State as Brian Kelly's Cincinnati connections paid off again.

Notre Dame continued its Hawaii connection by signing Kona Schwenke out of Hauula. He's a 6-foot-4, 217-pound three-star defensive end who picked the Irish over Washington.

However, Notre Dame wasn't able to reel in safety Jeremy Ioane from Punahous School in Hawaii, the same alma mater as Manti Te'o. Ioane, who took a late visit to South Bend, ended up at Boise State instead, giving panic-stricken Irish fans something to howl about.

The Irish also couldn't pry linebacker Christian Jones away from Florida State, but that really shouldn't be a surprise since his brother and father both played for the Seminoles.

Now the Domers wait for Seantrel Henderson's announcement, though it seems like a long shot that he'll sign with Notre Dame. The school will likely end up without any five-star signees in this class, but Kelly's strength is in player development, anyway.