Do you want that 5th year option?
Coach Brian Kelly and his staff received a huge commitment from 5 star outside linebacker Jaylon Smith on Saturday bringing the total number of 2013 commitments to 13. We last took a look at the available scholarships in this cycle just prior to the Blue-Gold game. In the time that has passed since then the Irish have picked up three additional commitments from offensive lineman John Montelus, tight end Mike Heuerman and now Jaylon Smith who was the top prospect on the board.
So where are we on the numbers? As previously discussed we expect this class to finish with a total number 21. Any additional slots will come courtesy of attrition. You can stay on top of the remaining targets and all other recruiting updates via our Recruiting Central widget in the left sidebar.
You all are familiar with our eligibility chart so I will get right to it. The Blue (2 deep) and Red (Injured) players are based on what we gathered through spring practice. I fully expect to see a few changes during fall camp.
As you know we treat this as a living document and will continue to update it throughout the year. If you have any questions about that or anything else don't hesitate to bring them up in the comments.
Details after the jump.
9 Seniors that will be eligible to apply for a 5th year
13 Verbal Commitments
16 Total scholarships available for new recruits if all 9 of the 5th year options are utilized.
9 Additional spots available as a 1 for 1 replacement of a 5th year option.
25 Absolute max number of scholarships available if no 5th year options are exercised.
Let's take another quick look at the 9 seniors that will be eligible to apply for a 5th.
Tyler Eifert- Definitely going to enter the NFL Draft.
Cierre Wood- Also likely to enter the NFL Draft.
Zack Martin- A lock to return for a 5th. Slight chance that a great 2012 pushes him to declare for the NFL Draft.
Chris Watt- Ditto Z-Ma.
Carlo Calabrese- I expect either Calabrese or Fox to return. At least one of them.
Dan Fox- See Calabrese.
Nick Tausch- Total wildcard.
Tyler Stockton- Most likely gone.
Jake Golic- Most likely gone.
Based on the above I expect that only 4 of these 9 players will return for a 5th year in 2013. That leaves 8 spots remaining to round out a class of 21. Miesle has already broken down the numbers by position so we know where are remaining needs are. Murtaugh also just updated our Big Board.
What position groups and what specific recruits do you hope to see round out this class? Will Jaylon Smith have a domino effect that helps the staff get commitments from some of the other top targets?