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Saturday, January 25, 2014
Notre Dame adds 3-star DT, loses 4-star LB

By Tom VanHaaren

Notre Dame had long been searching to add another defensive tackle in the 2014 class. With the Irish losing four-star tackle Matt Dickerson (San Mateo, Calif./Junipero Serra) to UCLA in January, adding another lineman to the class became a priority.

After targeting a few prospects -- including Matt Elam (Elizabethtown, Ky./John Hardin) and Daniel Cage (Cincinnati/Winton Woods) -- the Irish got their man on Friday when tackle Peter Mokwuah (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Joseph-By-The-Sea) flipped his commitment from Rutgers to Notre Dame.

The three-star lineman gives the Irish seven defensive linemen in this class.

That number might seem high, but Notre Dame only ended up with one defensive lineman in the 2013 class after ESPN 300 prospect Eddie Vanderdoes transferred to UCLA.

While coach Brian Kelly and his staff gained a commitment from Mokwuah, they also lost a commitment on Friday from linebacker Richard Yeargin III (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./University School). There are still four linebackers committed in this class, but losing a four-star commit this late in the game is never a good thing.

A big reason for the high numbers is that Notre Dame loses some big names from the roster, including Louis Nix III and Stephon Tuitt. With a new defensive coordinator on board as well, the Irish have some retooling to do heading into next season.

Defense was a main focus for this class as the Irish have 12 of the 22 commitments on the defensive side. Notre Dame now has the No. 11-ranked class with 10 ESPN 300 commits.