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)
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)


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