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Thursday, February 2, 2012
National signing day overview

By Matt Fortuna

National signing day is in the books. And though it was not without its surprises for Notre Dame, we won't know the true impact of Wednesday's additions until years from now.

With that, we take our best shot at predicting the future while recapping what went down.

Biggest surprise: There's only one choice to make here, and it's the flip of Deontay Greenberry to Houston on Wednesday morning. Notre Dame's 17-man class seemed all but set entering the day, but Greenberry changed that with the last-minute decision. Having his cousin, Tee Shepard, already enrolled at Notre Dame certainly makes this more surprising.

Player you'll see next season: Shepard figures to see playing time in the secondary upon his arrival. Brian Kelly called him the best cornerback in the country, and with the lack of depth there currently on the Notre Dame roster, Shepard will have the chance to earn extended minutes with an impressive spring and summer.

Dark horse contributors: Chris Brown and Nicky Baratti are both three-star prospects, but Kelly thinks they are both steals. Neither has a physique that will help him stand out on the field, but Brown is a versatile threat with the ball in his hands, short or deep. Baratti, labeled an "athlete," projects as a safety but displays the kind of adaptability and attitude that Kelly loves.