Lineman is first Weis commitment

Updated: January 10, 2005, 10:30 PM ET
Associated Press

Notre Dame: A Pennsylvania offensive lineman is the first high school senior to commit to Notre Dame since Charlie Weis was named coach last month.

Michael Turkovich, a 6-foot-7-inch, 285-pound lineman from Bedford, Pennsylvania, said he told Weis his decision while visiting the school on Saturday.

Weis is finishing his duties as offensive coordinator with the New England Patriots. He hosted a recruiting weekend while the Patriots had a playoff bye.

Vanderbilt: Quarterback Jay Cutler said he will return for his senior season.

Cutler was 147-of-241 for 1,844 yards and 10 touchdowns with five interceptions for Vanderbilt last season. He also ran 109 times for 349 yards and six more TDs.

He decided not to make a quick decision after the Commodores' 2-9 season. He received what he called a positive evaluation from the NFL on where he might be drafted, but wouldn't discuss details.

Cutler was among the Commodores who attended the funeral of running back Kwane Doster in Tampa, Fla., on Dec. 31.

"His death, it brought us even closer and made some of us realize how important this team is and how much we really put into this stuff," Cutler said.

Texas: Texas hired Georgia assistant Ken Rucker to coach running backs next season, coach Mack Brown announced.

Rucker replaces Mike Haywood, who left Texas to become offensive coordinator at Notre Dame. Rucker inherits a corps of running backs that loses Doak Walker Award winner Cedric Benson.

"We're really excited that we were able to add a quality veteran coach like Ken to our staff," Brown said. "Ken is a high-energy coach with tremendous character who also is a great recruiter that has spent a lot of time recruiting in Texas."

A college assistant for 26 years, Rucker spent two seasons at Georgia. His other career coaching stops include Texas A&M, Baylor, Arkansas, North Carolina and Air Force.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press