Notre Dame bringing in toughness

With national signing day (Feb. 2) around the corner, here is a breakdown of how things are looking for Notre Dame and the top non-AQ schools. Schools are listed in alphabetical order, not in order of their class rank.

Boise State Broncos

Commits: 23 | ESPNU 150: 0

Overview: The majority of this class will probably redshirt, as is customary with Boise State, so the impact of this group won't be seen for at least a year. This class is focused on filling holes and increasing depth on defense.

Top prospect: Three-star linebacker Blake Renaud (Concord, Calif./De La Salle) is the middle linebacker of the future for the Broncos. At 6-foot-2, 235 pounds Renaud has the potential to be a major force in the middle of that defense.

Don't be surprised if: Wide receiver Troy Ware (Vista, Calif./Vista) turns out to be the gem of this class. The 6-2, 170-pounder was originally part of Boise's 2010 class and he has nice all-around skills mixed along with better-than-average size. He could be an immdeiate contributor in the red zone and on third downs.

BYU Cougars

Commits: 18 | ESPNU 150: 0

Overview: The Cougars' top seven commitments are all linemen and tight end if that tells you anything. They have committed a total 11 OL/DL/TEs. In addition, BYU is bringing in four linebackers. Not a sexy group but they filled some key need areas.

Top prospect: Colby Jorgensen (Provo, Utah/Timpview) is a three-star in-state star that is staying home. He has great size (6-7, 215) and a long frame to grow into. Jorgenson is athletic and can catch the football. Once he gets bigger and becomes a better run blocker, he could really develop into a very good tight end down the line.

Don't be surprised if: BYU lands one more. Wide receiver Terenn Houk (Enumclaw, Wa./Enumclaw) is scheduled to visit the Cougars this weekend. BYU is pretty much wrapped up with their 2011 class.

Houston Cougars

Commits: 23 | ESPNU 150: 0

Overview: The Cougars didn't really focus on a single position. They have commitments from five offensive linemen, five defensive linemen, four linebackers and four project players in the secondary. Seven commitments will be coming from junior colleges.

Top prospect: In Houston's offense the quarterback is the key and Bram Kohlhausen (Lamar, Texas/Lamar) is one of the top quarterbacks in Texas. He posted solid numbers as a three-year starter in a run-based offense. He'll have a year or two to get his arm used to throwing 40-50 times a game.

Don't be surprised if: Houston is a player for the C-USA title over the next two seasons. If the junior college transfers work out the Cougars should be much better on the lines and ready to battle for the top spot in a conference that is getting better each season.

Marshall Thundering Herd

Commits: 29 | ESPNU 150: 0

Overview: This is a big class and Marshall will usuallly over-sign by a couple of prospects because they can place them in a prep school. There are several promising young offensive players in this group.

Top prospect: Four-star linebacker Armonze Daniel (Avon, Ind./Avon) should be able to get on the field right away for the Herd, and don't be surprised if the 6-3, 221-pounder is starting in the season opener or is at least the top reserve in the linebacker rotation.

Don't be surprised if: Conelius Jones (Spartanburg, S.C./Spartanburg) plays early as a quarterback or wide receiver. Jones will battle with returners Eddie Sullivan and A.J. Graham but if he doesn't win that competition expect the 6-2, 200-pounder to be moved to wide receiver and see plenty of time there.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Commits: 23 | ESPNU 150: 7

Overview: It will be hard to find a class with a better group of defensive linemen. Brian Kelly and staff lost Aaron Lynch (Cape Coral, Fla./Island Coast) and Stephon Tuitt (Monroe, Ga./Monroe Area) during the process but fought to get them back in January.

Top prospect: Lynch might be the best defensive lineman in Florida and he's going to be an immediate contributor for the Irish. The 6-5, 250-pounder should quickly improve a pass rush that has struggled for much of the last decade.

Don't be surprised if: Notre Dame is in a BCS bowl in the next two seasons. The Irish needed to get tough on defense and bring in some players that will bring a new, winning attitude to the program. Mission accomplished.

Southern Miss Golden Eagles

Commits: 25 | ESPNU 150: 0

Overview: The Eagles landed as many as six potential wide receivers in this class with the headliner being three-star standout Darien Thomas (Theodore, Ala./Theodore). Southern Miss also hit on defensive line and corners, landing a total of nine. The guy to watch in this class is quarterback Rick Lloyd (Concord, Calif./Concord). He has a chance to really excel in Larry Fedora's offense.

Top prospect: Thomas picked USM over Kentucky and was originally committed to the Wildcats. He's big (6-2, 193), strong and deceptively quick. Thomas is dangerous with the ball in his hands. He should have the ability to put up some monster numbers in time in Hattiesburg.

Don't be surprised if: Southern Miss can flip Tennessee commitment Tino Thomas (Memphis, Tenn./Melrose). He's a three-star athlete. On the flip side, teams like Boise State, Colorado and UCLA are trying to flip USM commitment quarterback Rock Lloyd.

SMU Mustangs

Commits: 27 | ESPNU 150: 0

Overview: June Jones and his staff continue to recruit more bodies along the lines to get bigger and increase depth. With SMU returning four of its five top offensive players this class was more focused on the defensive side of the ball.

Top prospect: Three-star defensive end Devon Moreland (Los Angeles, Calif./Salesian) will come in as an outside linebacker if he doesn't grow into the defensive end position right away. Either way, watch for this 6-3, 225-pounder to be wherever the football is.

Don't be surprised if: Junior college transfer Kevin Galindo gets moved from tight end to offensive lineman. The 6-5, 270-pounder could probably play either position but the Mustangs will need him to compete for a spot along the line.

TCU Horned Frogs

Commits: 25 | ESPNU 150: 1

Overview: TCU has recruited like a BCS school for a while now and folks are finally starting to notice. The Horned Frogs' Rose Bowl season is carrying over on the recruiting front with big-time recruits like ESPNU 150 member LaDarius Brown (Waxahachie, Texas/Waxahachie), outside linebacker DeryckGildon (Arlington, Texas/James Martin) and offensive tackle James Naff (Del City, Okla/Del City). They also turned wide receiver Brandon Carter (Euless, Texas/Trinity) away from Oklahoma. This is a solid class and now that TCU is officially in a BCS conference watch out, because their recruiting is about to make a huge jump.

Top prospect:Brown was a major coup, as the Horned Frogs beat Auburn, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, and several other major programs for him. He's a dynamic athlete that is very dangerous with the ball. He has size, speed and quickness. Brown is also a very good safety.

Don't be surprised if: TCU lands another defensive line prospect. Brandon Alexander (Brenham, Texas/Brenham) visited the Horned Frogs in the middle of the month. TCU is battling Arkansas, Texas and Texas A&M for him.

UCF Knights

Commits: 29 | ESPNU 150: 0

Overview: This class is on par with last season's outstanding haul. This aedition is loaded with defensive linemen and linebackers, a total of 15 in all. That's half the class. UCF has also landed help in the secondary with five defensive backs. So the defense is really getting bolstered here. The other position of need is receiver. While UCF lost out on Juwan Caesar (Miami, Fla./Coral Park) but they did land Jacques Mackeroy (Lakeland, Fla./Kathleen).

Top prospect: Mackeroy is an aggressive and attacking receiver that has a chance to really shine early at UCF because he's talented and the Knights will need early help from him and others at this position. He has a nice blend of speed and quickness and good hands.

Don't be surprised if: UCF closes out this class with a wide receiver or two. They are looking at Davonte Allen (Belle Glade, Fla./Glades Central), Anthony Denham (Montery Park, Calif./East Los Angeles College), Rayshon Williams (Denver, Co./Mullen), Michael Fluellen (Louisville, Ky./Seneca) and others.

Corey Long has been covering high school football and recruiting in the Sunshine State since 1995. He can be reached at coreyespn@gmail.com. Jamie Newberg has been covering recruiting both in the Southeast and nationally for 19 years. He can be reached at jamienewbergbw@yahoo.com.