Jeff Miller

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November 28, 2006
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Notre Dame makes offer to Dever

If he so chooses, Taylor Dever can continue wearing blue and gold.

A senior offensive tackle at Nevada Union, Dever was offered a full scholarship Tuesday morning to play football at the University of Notre Dame.

Making the offer, in an hour-long meeting at NU, was Fighting Irish coach Charlie Weis.

"I'll honestly say I was a little bit nervous," Dever said. "For Charlie Weis to fly out here, to come out to Nevada City and our high school and meet with me and my family, that was not only a dream come true but a great experience.

"For a team that I've always looked up to to be at my doorstep, wanting me to play for them, that was something else."

Notre Dame became the 14th Division I school to offer Dever a scholarship. Also on the list are Arizona State, Boise State, Fresno State, Miami, Nebraska, Oregon, Oregon State, Sacramento State, San Diego State, UNLV, Utah State, Washington and Washington State.

Dever said his vision has started to narrow, but he has not eliminated any of the schools from the running. He is scheduled to fly Friday morning to South Bend, Ind., for an official visit to Notre Dame. He expects to return Sunday night.

The following weekend, he'll head to Lincoln, Neb., to meet with the Cornhuskers. The trip to Nebraska will be far from the last visit he makes to one of the interested colleges, Dever added.

"One of the things I'm looking for, first off, is agreeing with the head coach's mentality - the way he coaches, what he expects," Dever said. "From talking for 45 minutes with coach Weis, I know that he would be a good fit for me, but that's not to say that I wouldn't fit with other coaches."

Weis explained during the meeting that he recruits "not only the player, but the person."

What he said next stuck with Dever.

"He also said he's recruiting me to play in one or two years, which is a pretty big statement."

Dever concluded the day with an evening visit from Washington State assistant coach Ken Greene.

The second meeting of the day, Dever said, was intended as an opportunity for Greene and Dever's family to become acquainted.

Seated next to Weis Tuesday morning was Notre Dame special-teams coach Brian Polian.

"After about 20 minutes of discussion, (Weis) asked coach Polian to reach into his briefcase and present the offer to Taylor," said Dever's father, Tom, who was included in the meeting.

Notre Dame first showed interest six weeks ago.

According to his father, Taylor Dever won't make a commitment until he has visited more schools.

The younger Dever was part of Nevada Union's offensive line that helped the Miners gain 2,770 yards rushing this fall.

"Taylor is one of the top recruits in the nation as an offensive lineman," NU coach Dave Humphers said. "It's partly because he's big - 6-6 and almost 300 pounds - and partly because he's very athletic with very good feet.

"Different college coaches have talked to me about why they're impressed with him, and it's how well he moves his feet and how well he blocks downfield. After an initial block he goes after a second and third defender."

No player Humphers has coached has played at Notre Dame, and he isn't certain that trend will break.

The Irish, ranked 12th in the country by the Associated Press, aren't the only top-25 team on Dever's list. Boise State, which is 12-0 this season, is ranked 10th, and Nebraska is 19th. With the third-most votes of any unranked team, Oregon State isn't far from the top 25.

"He's got a big decision to make," Humphers said. "The nice thing is it's all very positive. He's going to accept a scholarship from somebody.

"The difficult part will be turning down other schools that are really good and that really want him. ... I don't know what decision he's going to make."


To contact Sports Writer Jeff Miller, e-mail or call 477-4247.

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The Union Updated Nov 29, 2006 12:01AM Published Nov 28, 2006 03:00AM Copyright 2006 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.