Verbal Commits Are Excited About Verducci

According to Watt, Verducci is a double threat.

Chris Watt could easily sense the excitement in Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis' voice, when he was telling him about the Irish's new offensive line coach Frank Verducci.

Weis also told the five-star Watt, that he wasn't the only one raving about the new hire.

"He said all the offensive linemen were pretty jacked up to meet the new coach," Chris Watt said. "He's going to give me a call Sunday night, and coach Weis, coach (Rob) Ianello and coach Verducci are coming to my house on Tuesday night."

On Wednesday afternoon, the Notre Dame football program announced that former offensive line coach John Latina had resigned "to pursue other opportunities," after four seasons in South Bend, and they were replacing him the 51-year old Verducci.

Verducci, who coached the last two seasons with the Cleveland Browns, comes to South Bend with 19 years of experience coaching college football, and has worked for four different teams in the NFL since 1999.

Weis explained to Watt, as well as the other Notre Dame offensive linemen verbal commits, Alex Bullard, Zach Martin and Christian Lombard, why he decided to hire Verducci.

"He gave me his background information, and told me how he wanted a guy that coached both in college and the pros," Watt said. "It's kind of like a double threat because he's coached guys in the NFL, and he's coached guys that have gone to the NFL."

Verducci has 27 years of coaching experience in the NFL and college ranks combined. Before his two-year gig in Cleveland, where he was an offensive assistant coach, Verducci had stops with the Buffalo Bills (offensive line and tight ends coach), Dallas Cowboys (offensive line coach) and Cincinnati Bengals (tight ends coach).

Prior to coaching in the NFL, Verducci coached tight ends, running backs and wide receivers in nine years as an assistant at Colorado State, Maryland, Northern Illinois, Iowa and Northwestern. In 1989, Verducci returned to Iowa City as Iowa's offensive line coach.

Verducci worked under Hayden Frye at Iowa for 10 years. In those 10 seasons, the Hawkeyes averaged over 175 rushing yards per game six times, and went over 200 per contest in 1990 (224.9), 1994 (221.0) and 1997 (217.0). Twelve offensive linemen went on to play in the NFL.

"It's great to be able to work with a coach that has had the experience not only in college, and sent guys to the NFL, but he‘s also worked in the NFL," Martin explained. He's expecting Weis, Verducci and Irish assistant Bernie Parmalee in his home on Monday night. "He obviously knows what he's been doing, and been around, and I think it will be a great experience working with him for the next four or five years."

Lombard, the first player to give Weis his verbal commitment in the class-of-2010, was very impressed by Verducci's resume.

"His bio sounds good, so I'm pretty excited about it," the five-star offensive tackle said. Lombard plans on attending the Irish's junior day on Jan. 24th.

While all the recruits were pumped about Verducci, they were also sad to see Latina go.

"It's always a little disappointing when you get to know an offensive line coach a lot, but if it's also an opportunity that's going to help the program out and get us better, I'm all for it," Watt explained.

"It's always hard when you lose a coach you spend the whole recruiting process with, and got to know, but you have to move on and take a step forward and get to know the new guy and go from there," Martin explained. "I'm excited to get to know him and move forward with him."

"I got to know him well," Lombard said of Latina. "It's sad to see him go, but it's a business and everything, and they have to do what they have to do, and they're trying to do it for the benefit of the program."

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