Eddie Vanderdoes could be on the move before he makes a move out of Placer County.
The 6-foot-4, 305-pound Placer High School senior defensive end signed a national letter of intent in February with Notre Dame, ending a whirlwind recruiting run, but there was rampant speculation on the Internet from media outlets, recruiting services and chat boards professing to be in the know on Monday night that the All-American may not head to South Bend.
Speculation about Vanderdoes ranged from character concerns to an academic fall out. Vanderdoes' coaches continued to rave about his upstanding character on Monday, and his father Eddie Vanderdoes on Monday night texted of his son, "One thing I can tell you is grades or eligibility is not and has never been an issue."
He added in the text, "let people speculate, but you will be the first to know, as always, when it's time to let people know."
Said Placer football coach Joey Montoya of his star player's character, "Absolutely he's gold. He is a selfless teammate and is highly dependable. I love that kid."
As for grades, Montoya said Vanderdoes is fine academically, "for Placer and the NCAA, he is for sure."
Vanderdoes was one of the most heavily recruited athletes in Sac-Joaquin Section history, overwhelming foes with his his burst off the line of scrimmage, his strength and desire. He was thrilled with his selection of Notre Dame after also strongly considering UCLA. He liked his visit to South Bend and spoke glowingly about the campus, the academics and the football tradition.
Still, there was a snag with Notre Dame seemingly from the start with how the school handled his scholarship commitment. The Vanderdoes family made it clear that they wanted Notre Dame to keep his decision mum to the media so he could enjoy a letter-of-intent signing ceremony later in the afternoon with several classmates who also signed scholarship deals. Most announcements are made early in the morning as colleges prefer to have signed letters as soon as they're allowed by the NCAA to receive them.
Notre Dame blew that seemingly simple request when Vanderdoes' name was in fact listed on the morning letter-of-intent announcement released to the media. His name was immediately taken off the sheet, but the secret was already out and hit the national feeds right away.
Vanderdoes said on letter of intent day in the Placer theatre that he was still excited to compete for the Irish. He even gave up baseball this spring, another sport in which he dominated, to focus on strength and conditioning workouts. Summer school for Notre Dame starts next month.
If Vanderdoes does indeed want out of his letter of intent, a binding contract, Notre Dame would have to release him, thus opening up a new flood of recruitment.
We will follow with updates as they come.
- Joe Davidson
- On Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD
- On Podcast: ESPN1320.net