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Saturday, August 3, 2013
Another Irish pledge from pivotal state

By Jared Shanker

Notre Dame is going to recruit nationally, but it can be argued no two states are more important to the Fighting Irish’s success on the trail than California and Florida. Within the last 24 hours, they have scored major wins in each state with the addition of four-star products.

Shortly after Richard Yeargin III out of south Florida committed on Friday, four-star defensive lineman Matt Dickerson (San Mateo, Calif./Junipero) pledged Saturday afternoon.

"I just knew it was the school when I walked on campus," Dickerson said on Saturday. "I felt it in my heart."

Much like the Irish did in Florida for Yeargin, Notre Dame beat out the premier local schools for Dickerson. USC offered Dickerson, and it was not the case of an in-state player not having a committable offer. The Trojans wanted the No. 29 player in California and wanted him bad. The same could be said for many of the California and Pac-12 programs, but it is always sweeter when Notre Dame can beat out rival USC for a west coast product (and to a lesser degree UCLA after the Eddie Vanderdoes transfer and subsequent NCAA ruling). Dickerson even visited the Los Angeles schools last week.

From an on-the-field standpoint, Dickerson is not quite sure where he will play when he arrives at Notre Dame. He said the coaches can see him at any defensive line position in the Irish’s 3-4 scheme. At 6-foot-5 and 275 pounds, Dickerson will close in on 300 pounds when he arrives to South Bend and will be suitable to play inside or out.

As a whole, the defensive front seven haul for Notre Dame is taking shape as one of the strongest in the 2014 cycle. Dickerson joins linemen Andrew Trumbetti, an ESPN 300 member, four-star Jay Hayes and three-star Grant Blankenship. Behind those four are linebackers Greer Martini, another ESPN 300 product, Yeargin and Jonathan Bonner, who is projected to be a linebacker.

The commitment of Dickerson is also a feather in the cap of the Irish staff for more reasons than just pulling a California product. The Irish offered Dickerson in late May and got him on campus for the first time on Friday. Within hours Dickerson was ready to commit.