Ara didn't recruit the Chicago Catholic League much at ND
by olson (2017-07-14 12:09:46)
Edited on 2017-07-18 11:24:50
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a bit of a followup to a few posts in a thread down the page

The link below is to a Chicago Tribune article from the summer of 1975- with ND football great George Connor lamenting how Notre Dame had not done a lot of recruiting in the Chicago area in recent years.


I'll always remember my late uncle (ND class of '50) sitting in my living room in 1973 and trashing Ara's 1973 recruiting class(the one that included the likes of Ross Browner, Willie Fry and Luther Bradley) because Ara failed (again) to recruit well from the Chicago Catholic League.

My uncle didn't like Ara much back then(Ara wasn't Leahy)-until Uncle Bob got a chance to see Dan Devine (who he disliked more than Ara) & then Gerry Faust.....


Ara really didn't recruit Illinois all that much while at ND (and Chicago even less so)-which seems strange (to me) considering he had coached at Northwestern prior to coming to ND.


Ara's Illinois recruits (1964-74):

*1964 ND Frosh class
Kevin Rassas E Loyola Academy
Steve Quinn G Loyola Academy
Mike Burgener HB Marion
Mike Heaton E Seneca Marquette

*1965 ND Frosh class
Roger Fox G Rockford Boylan (wrestler-trans St Norberts)
Bill Skoglund E Fenwick (walk on)

*1966 ND Frosh class
Jay Standring HB Chicago Leo
Terry Brennan T Chicago Weber(no relation to old ND coach)
Bob Jockisch DT Peoria Central
Vito Racanelli LB Chicago Weber(Parade AA-blew out his knee)

*1967 ND Frosh class
Bob Cotter DE Chicago St Patrick
Pat Mudron DT Joliet Catholic

*1968 ND Frosh class
Mike Zikas DT Thornridge
Phil Gustafson G Galesburg(wrestler-trans to Kearney St & blocked for Walter Payton)

*1969 ND Frosh class
Herb Briick T Hinsdale Twsp.
Gary Hagen TE Alton Sr HS (signed MLB contract-never enrolled)
Marty Best QB Peoria Bergan(walk on-capt of ND Golf team)
Bob Roemer QB Thornridge(walk on-baseball catcher)

*1970 ND Frosh class
Lew Miskowitz FB Rock Island high
Gary Potempa LB Niles Notre Dame
Tim Rudnick DB Niles Notre Dame (walk on-earned scholarship)
EDIT
Dan Payne QB Chicago Leo (trans. to Utah)


*1971 ND Frosh class
None-the first ND class since at least 1910 (I didn't look any farther back :) to not have a recruit from Illinois!


*1972 ND Frosh class
Ivan Brown DE Leroy(little town near Bloomington)
Nick Federenko DT Chicago St Francis DeSales
Bob Zanot S Springfield Griffin

*1973 ND Frosh class
Stan Bobowksi QB St Viator's
Mark Ewald T St Laurence
Tom Gullickson G Joliet Catholic
Jack Lloyd LB Rolling Meadows

*1974 ND Frosh class
Ted Burgmeier QB/DB E. Dubuque Ill.(played HS football across the river in Iowa)
so if you don't count Burgmeier(& I don't) = none


FYI-the next year, in Devine's first recruiting class (1975) there were 3 Illinois players:

Rusty Lisch QB Belleville West
Jerome Heavens RB E St Louis Assumption
Tom Domin HB Willowbrook

For anyone who bothered to read all the way down to here-I plan on re-posting the all time Illinois All State Football to ND list next (1936 to present)













Two starters on the 1973 National Champions
by RJD  (2017-07-14 16:04:22)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

That seems like more than enough to me for the freshmen class of 1970. I remember seeing Gary walking around campus with a high school letter jacket. It seemed like an oddball thing to do but I wasn't going to tell him.


Potempa was a starting OG on the '70 ND Frosh team
by olson  (2017-07-14 16:38:53)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Gary Potempa was an All State fullback in HS

He started at OG on the ND Frosh team. But Frosh coach Denny Murphy used to let Potempa play some LBer too.

When Frosh QB Cliff Brown led the Irish Frosh to a come from behind victory over the Tennessee frosh (ND was down 20-0 & scored 21 4th Q pts to take the lead), the Vols had one last chance after ND scored the go ahead td.

Gary Potempa, inserted at LB, intercepted a desperation Tenn pass to seal the victory = ND Frosh 21 Tenn Frosh 20

Ara made Potempa a full time LB in the Spring-w Gary leading the 1st team in tackles (11) in the Blue Gold game.

Potempa claimed that he had no idea that his HS teammate (Tim Rudnick) was coming to Notre Dame too- until Gary saw Tim on campus at the start of the school year....at least that's the story he told years later.


off the front page *
by olson  (2017-07-14 17:04:26)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


Only the good die young
by RJD  (2017-07-14 18:28:36)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Bill died after three Stanley Cups, then a law practice...


This would seem to damage the truthiness of the argument
by IrishGeek  (2017-07-14 13:23:07)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

that the once great Notre Dame thrived off the CCL and that the decline of the two are somehow related.


It's less the CCL, I think,
by WilfordBrimley  (2017-07-14 13:54:34)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

and more the relative decline of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey as pipelines of a lot of talent compared to the Sun Belt. I think that's a fair argument to make but it's just one small piece of the puzzle. Ohio still produces a lot of talent, and Pennsylvania and New Jersey, while not as good as they once were, are still in the top ten or top fifteen of high school football states.

Even when the CCL was at its height, ND never cleaned up there - the Big Ten was also at its peak - and never relied heavily on it.


but you cannot deny that it is not 1988 anymore *
by jt  (2017-07-14 13:27:59)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


Hammond Indiana isn't Chicago, but it's certainly the metro
by irish7478  (2017-07-14 13:17:31)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Area. Should you count Randy Harrison for 1974 freshman class.


Wow, your uncle REALLY didn't like Faust *
by pmcdnd96  (2017-07-14 12:55:40)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


Lou let a few get away too
by ACross  (2017-07-14 12:31:33)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

One I could never figure out was Donovan McNabb.


I played in the CCL during Ara's time at ND
by Kayo  (2017-07-14 12:28:55)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

...and was lucky enough to have him as head coach for three of my four years at Notre Dame.

The Chicago Catholic League was Big Ten turf in those days. Several top coaches, mine included, were Big Ten products; and CCL players generally hoped they would be good enough to be recruited to Big Ten schools.

It didn't help that ND didn't admit women until 1972; and even then, it took a while for women to become a significant percentage of the student body. Unlike most of my ND classmates' Catholic high schools, all of the CCL schools were boys only until well after my graduation. Football players as well as most non-athletes wanted to attend schools that had these mysterious female creatures just to see what it was like.


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