- Matt Fortuna, ESPN Staff Writer
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Yesterday we looked at the offensive side of the ball. Today we look at the defensive players, many of whom came in with slightly more fanfare than their offensive counterparts.
DE, Kapron Lewis-Moore: One of two defensive captains, Lewis-Moore committed to the Irish following a historically bad 3-9 season. He was the 19th-best end prospect from the class of 2008, and the Weatherford (Texas) High alum received a scouts grade of 79.
NG, Louis Nix: The highly-touted Nix was an ESPN150 member from the class of 2010, coming in as the No. 64 player overall and the No. 6 defensive tackle in the nation. A four-star prospect out of Raines (Fla.) High, Nix received a scouts grade of 81.
DE, Stephon Tuitt: Tuitt was a bedrock of Brian Kelly's first real full recruiting class. A four-star prospect and ESPN150 member, the Monroe (Ga.) product de-committed from Georgia Tech before going to Notre Dame. He was the No. 10 defensive end in the nation, the No. 53 player in the Southeast region, the No. 11 player in the state of Georgia and the No. 90 player overall. He received a scouts grade of 81.
OLB, Prince Shembo: Listed as a defensive end out of Ardrey Kell (N.C.) High, Shembo was a three-star prospect and the No. 47 end in the nation. He received a scouts grade of 78.
ILB, Dan Fox: Fox was ranked 76th among outside linebackers in the class of 2009. The Saint Ignatius (Ohio) alum received a scouts grade of 76 but developed quickly upon arriving to Notre Dame.
ILB, Manti Te'o: Te'o's prep story out of Punahou (Hawaii) High has been well-documented, but here are some numbers: He was the No. 2 overall player in the class of 2009, and the top outside linebacker prospect in the country. He received a scouts grade of 93.
OLB, Danny Spond: Listed as an athlete when coming out of Columbine (Colo.) High, Spond was a three-star prospect and the No. 44 player nationally listed at that position. He received a scouts grade of 78.
CB, Bennett Jackson: Jackson was recruited as a receiver out of Raritan (N.J.) High, coming in as the No. 97 receiver in the nation in the class of 2010. He was a three-star prospect and received a scouts grade of 77.
S, Zeke Motta: The only member of Notre Dame's secondary to be recruited for his initial position, Motta ranked as the No. 28 safety in the country in the class of 2009. Coming out of Vero Beach (Fla.) High, Motta was the No. 55 player in the state of Florida, and the No. 140 player in the Southeast region. He received a scouts grade of 79.
S, Matthias Farley: Farley was recruited as a receiver but listed as an athlete, the 92nd-best in the class of 2011. A three-star prospect out of Charlotte (N.C.) Christian High, Farley was the No. 146 player overall in the Southeast region, receiving a scouts grade of 77.
CB, KeiVarae Russell: Recruited as a running back out of Mariner (Wash.) High, Russell was ranked No. 25 among backfield players in the class of 2012. A three-star prospect with a scouts grade of 79, Russell was the No. 67 player in the West region and the No. 5 player in Washington.
3dSharon Katz, ESPN Stats & Information