June 8, 2008

New player for Nwachukwu?

He carries the nickname "Easy," but Notre Dame's recruitment of wide receiver Uzoma Nwachukwu may be about to get harder.

That's because the four-star talent from Allen, Texas will camp with Longhorns on Sunday with the hopes of landing a scholarship from one of college football's most efficient programs at keeping in-state talent home.

Texas landed wide receiver Dan Buckner, Nwachukwu's teammate at Allen, last year. Buckner was among the first Irish targets offered during the last recruiting cycle, picking up his scholarship from Charlie Weis on Sept. 1 along with Michael Floyd, Trevor Robinson and Steve Filer.

"I think there's a possibility that [Texas] might pull the trigger," Nwachukwu said. "It depends on if they like me or not. I've been told that coach Mack Brown likes me and wants to see me in person."

Nwachukwu still plans to attend a passing camp at Notre Dame on June 16 with his high school team, although a Longhorn offer has been known to become an instant verbal for plenty of Texas prospects. The look at South Bend will be Nwachukwu's first after being courted by Irish head coach Charlie Weis and wide receivers coach Rob Ianello for months.

Colorado and Arkansas may get summer visits as well, although among the schools that have offered Nwachukwu said Notre Dame, Texas A&M and Oklahoma are in front.

"Those three are showing the most interest," he said. "I'm just looking forward to seeing Notre Dame's campus. The location being so far out there, I want to be comfortable with it, to see all the coaches and be comfortable with the surroundings.

"Another big thing would be the players. They'll be back and I want to see them work out. Playing early is big too and that's a strong point with Notre Dame."

The Irish like Nwachukwu in the slot, following last year's haul of outside receivers Floyd, John Goodman and Deion Walker. Nwachukwu works underneath in the Allen offense, often running reverses and finding holes in defenses. He figures that carryover could help him in the Irish attack.

Nwachukwu has made a point of scouting the offenses at his preferred schools, which should help more than just Notre Dame.

The 6-foot-1, 186-pound athlete said the Aggies don't throw the ball as much as he'd like, but Nwachukwu recognized that Texas A&M's stable of running backs makes the ground game preferred in College Station. But his perspective on Austin is a little different.

"Texas is always going to be a good school and they throw the ball around a whole lot," Nwachukwu said. "They've made a whole bunch of good receivers, Limas Sweed and Roy Williams. And it's in Texas. It would be pretty close to home and that's always good.

"The way I think about it, Texas always has top-notch players and that's what I like. It's the same way at OU or Notre Dame; you've got to compete for your spot. You've just got to work that much harder."

The same may soon hold true in the Irish recruitment of Nwachukwu.

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