Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2017

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 16 of 55 FEBRUARY 2017 17 UNDER THE DOME 30 Years Ago: Feb. 1-28, 1987 The month begins with unranked and 11-5 Notre Dame defeating No. 1 North Carolina 60-58 at home — the seventh time it vanquishes the top-ranked Associated Press team. Head coach Digger Phelps' Fighting Irish rally from a 32-16 deficit and from 53-44 with four and a half minutes left. Junior guard David Rivers leads the charge with eight points in that closing stretch, including a 15-foot jumper to put the Irish ahead (56-55) for good with 1:06 left. Junior center Gary Voce, averaging 1.9 points per game, is named NBC-TV's Most Valu- able Player with 15 points and 10 rebounds. On Feb. 15, the Irish upend No. 15 Duke in overtime (70-66) to begin an 11-game winning streak that includes a conquest of No. 4 DePaul (73-62). On the football front, second-year head coach Lou Holtz, com- ing off a 5-6 debut, and his staff assemble a 30-man class that is ranked the consensus No. 1 group by every recruiting service on Feb. 11. Headlining the balanced high school All-America lists are run- ning backs Ricky Watters and Tony Brooks, quarterback Kent Graham, flanker/athlete Todd Lyght, tight end Frank Jacobs, linebackers Tim Ryan, Donn Grimm, Scott Kowalkowski and An- dre Jones, and linemen Joe Allen, Norm Balentine and George Marshall. Overshadowed are other prospects such as linemen George Williams, Bob Dahl and Mike Heldt, and relatively obscure linebacker Chris Zorich from Chicago Vocational School. "On paper, it could be one of the greatest classes ever," said Chicago-based Tom Lemming of Prep Football Report. "The question is whether it is the best recruiting class [in all of college football] the last 10 years," said SuperPrep publisher Allen Wallace. "What Notre Dame did in recruiting this year should be illegal," said Max Emfinger, owner of the National High School Football Recruiting Service. Twas a productive February for Irish football and basketball. 15 Years Ago: Feb. 9, 2002 The longest basketball game in Notre Dame history (at the time) concludes with a 116-111 triumph against Big East rival Georgetown at the MCI Center in Washington, D.C. The four-overtime game also results in the fifth straight league win (and 17-6 overall) after having lost 83-73 to the Hoyas Jan. 21. Four different Notre Dame players record a double-double for second-year head coach Mike Brey, with sophomore guard Chris Thomas (22 points and 12 assists) most notably playing all 60 minutes. Junior guard Matt Carroll leads the Irish with 30 points and 10 rebounds, while forwards Ryan Hum- phrey (23 points and 14 rebounds) and Harold Swanagan (11 points and 10 rebounds) — both on the current Irish staff — also post double-doubles. 5 Years Ago: Feb. 1, 2012 Third-year head coach Brian Kelly signs the second smallest class in school history with 16 recruits, with the 15 inked in 2005 during the Tyrone Willingham/Charlie Weis transition in December 2004/ February 2005 the only one with less volume. The Irish also signed only 17 in 1984 and 2004. Hurting the numbers were decommitments from five-star receiver Deontay Greenberry (Houston), cornerback Ronald Darby (Florida State) and offensive tackle Taylor Decker (Ohio State), plus parting ways with athlete David Perkins (Ohio State). The class would later pick up Arizona wide receiver Davonte Neal (who would transfer the spring of his freshman year) but also lose cornerback Tee Shepard that spring because of an NCAA Clearinghouse issue. The crown jewel of the class is five-star quarterback Gunner Kiel (rated behind only Florida State's Jameis Winston), but he would transfer following his freshman year. Merely four linemen — Ronnie Stanley and Mark Harrell on offense, and Sheldon Day and Jarron Jones on defense — are inked along with one linebacker (16-year-old Romeo Okwara). Safeties Elijah Shumate and C.J. Prosise along with running back KeiVarae Russell also join a class that is ranked an aggregate 16.8 by the five major recruiting services. — Lou Somogyi Anniversaries In Notre Dame History: February Please add Sales Tax if you live in NC (7.5%), MI (6%), or IN (7%) Blue & Gold Illustrated PO Box 2331 • Durham, NC 27702 1-800-421-7751 Visit our online store! *FREE DIVOT TOOL SET W/PURCHASE OF GOLF CLUB BAG! ($23.95 Value!) SHOE BAG #6487 $34.95 + $7.99 S&H 62" UMBRELLA #6486 $34.95 + $10 S&H WHEELED TRAVEL COVER #6488 $229.95 FREE S&H VICTORY CART BAG #6483* $229.95 CLUBHOUSE CART BAG #6479* $169.95 MEDALIST CART BAG #6480* $229.95 FAIRWAY STAND BAG #6481* $199.95 The No. 1-ranked Notre Dame recruiting class in 1987 included Chicago Vocational School line- backer Chris Zorich. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME MEDIA RELATIONS

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