Apr. 21, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish kicker Nick Tausch (40) kicks a field goal in the first quarter of the Blue-Gold Game at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE
In the wake of the latest flurry of verbal commitments we decided that it was time to take an updated look at the available scholarships. We last visited these numbers after Linebacker Jaylon Smith committed to Notre Dame in early June. Since then Coach Kelly and the staff have picked up commitments from Defensive End Isaac Rochell, and Linebackers Danny Mattingly, Michael Deeb and Alex Anzalone.
The Irish also picked up two commitments for the 2014 cycle from Linebacker Greer Martini and Wide Receiver Justin Brent. These two are about to start their junior year of high school. I really don't want to start projecting the numbers for the next cycle until this class is wrapped up with a bow on it in February of 2013, but it will be interesting to watch the staff navigate this trend of very early commitments going forward.
So where are we on the 2013 numbers? Based on the current roster we still expect this class to finish with a total of 21 players signing letters of intent. Any additional slots will come courtesy of attrition from current players which is always a possibility. We won't project any of that until it happens. For the time being a class of 21 means that there are 4 spots remaining for this current class.
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
17 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.
The Anzalone commitment was the first 1 for 1 replacement of a 5th year option. All remaining commitments will also eliminate a 5th year option for someone.
Below is a quick review of how I see the priority for keeping the players with a 5th year option and my take on how it will shake out.
Tyler Eifert- NFL Draft
Cierre Wood- 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/ Dan Fox- I expect one of them to return.
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 4 spots remaining to round out a class of 21.
I think the remaining spots go to 1 DL, 1 CB, 1 WR and 1 gets held for a late addition elite prospect.
You are all familiar with our Big Board. How do you see this playing out down the stretch?