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February 6, 2013

Saving the biggest for last

Brian Kelly dropped a hint, not that anyone inside the Guglielmino Athletics Complex needed one.

During his Wednesday afternoon press conference to announce Notre Dame's recruiting class that was still short a signed letter of intent from running back Tarean Folston, the Notre Dame head coach showed some optimism about a prospect not on the board at all.

"The day is not over yet," Kelly said. "Stay tuned."

About eight hours later the extended attention span proved worth it when five-star defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes signed with Notre Dame over UCLA, USC and Alabama during a ceremony at Placer High School in California. Vanderdoes was the final Rivals100 prospect to sign and elevated the Irish to third in the Rivals.com team rankings.

The U.S. Army All-American completes a historically talented class for Notre Dame as the program's fourth five-star commitment. That's the most in a single Irish class during the Rivals.com era.

Vanderdoes, a one-time USC commitment, took his official visit to Notre Dame during the Jan. 25 weekend with his parents, then followed up with an official to Alabama to close his recruitment. USC and UCLA also got official visits.

The 6-foot-3, 310-pound athlete ranks as the nation's No. 2 defensive tackle but projects as a swing player in the Irish defense at strong side defensive end and nose guard. Louis Nix hosted Vanderdoes during his recruiting visit.

Stay tuned on Irish Illustrated for more on Vanderdoes' commitment to Notre Dame.

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