If recent years have proven anything, it wouldn’t be a proper Notre Dame off-season without some drama surrounding a 5-star recruit.
One month before the team reports for summer workouts, defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes’ future with Notre Dame has become unclear.
Along with The South Bend Tribune, Irish Illustrated and Blue & Gold Illustrated have heard from multiple sources that Vanderdoes is attempting to back out of his letter of intent with the Irish and instead sign with UCLA. But the reasonings vary between an academic or admissions issue and a Vanderdoes change of heart.
It’s important to note that, as of right now, these are still just rumors. None of this information has been verified (or disputed) by the Vanderdoes family or Notre Dame.
Vanderdoes’ father, also named Eddie, told Sacramento Bee writer Joe Davidson in a text: “One thing I can tell you is grades or eligibility is not and has never been an issue.”
Davidson didn’t say if Eddie Vanderdoes Sr. tried to dismiss the rumors.
Davidson, who covered Vanderdoes throughout his recruiting process, wrote that the lineman’s fall out with Notre Dame may have started the very day he signed his commitment letter:
“The Vanderdoes family made it clear that they wanted Notre Dame to keep his decision mum to the media so he could enjoy a letter-of-intent signing ceremony later in the afternoon with several classmates who also signed scholarship deals…Notre Dame blew that seemingly simple request when Vanderdoes’ name was in fact listed on the morning letter-of-intent announcement released to the media.”
On National Signing Day, Notre Dame handed out a list of the then-22 newly committed players and accompanying biographies and stats to the assembled media. While Vanderdoes’ name was not on the list of 22, he was included on the last page of the biography/stat section.
Notre Dame’s sports information department noticed the mistake, retracted the papers and handed out new ones without Vanderdoes’s name.
That may have nothing to do with the rumored breakup between Vanderdoes and Notre Dame. It might have a great deal to do with it.
If we don’t hear from Vanderdoes or Notre Dame in the mean time, we’ll see what happens when the team reports for summer workouts in June.