Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Every program adds players on National Signing Day---even Navy. We take a look at which Irish opponents stocked their cupboards with talent and which did not.
Below is a look at how some of Notre Dame's rivals did in recruiting over the past year. I also added some teams that Notre Dame will see in the not-so distant future as well.
Class and player rankings (in parentheses following names) shown are from 247 Sports' Composite Ranking.
Class Rank: 119
'12 Class Rank: 117
No. Recruits: 19
The service academies don't have to abide by the NCAA recruiting rules like the rest of the country because they don't give out scholarships. Obviously these schools are at a huge disadvantage with their high academic standards and inability to recruit 300 pounders who can still serve in the military. They can gain a small advantage by recruiting a ton of players (Air Force's class is rumored to be at 50 players) and sending them to prep schools for a year to add some academic maturity and athletic seasoning.
In the case of Navy, they like to send their recruits to the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, Rhode Island. Of the 161 players listed on their 2012 roster a full 102 took an extra year at the NAPS after graduating high school and before heading to Annapolis.
The Middies top players in this class are Georgia DT Sean Spencer (.813), Nevada WR Jamir Tillman (.807), California DE Austin Kurke (.799), Tennessee LB Colton Jumper (.785), and Florida WR Tyler Carmona (.780).
Class Rank: 91
'12 Class Rank: 65
No. Recruits: 15
It was a tough cycle for Boston College and BC Interruption largely blames fired head coach Frank Spaziani and his failed efforts before being axed in late November. As one would expect, new head coach Steve Addazio wasn't able to right the ship with a couple of months on the job.
This small class ranked dead last in both the ACC and among all BCS programs. Moreover, UAB, Middle Tennessee State, Florida Atlantic, Memphis, Tulane, and the team Addazio left (Temple) all finished ahead of Boston College in the team rankings.
The Eagles class is headlined by 3-star Massachusetts DT Tevin Montgomery (.864). BC also added a pair of signal-callers in Massachusetts QB Mackay Lowrie (.829) and Ohio QB James Walsh (.819). Rounding out the top of the class are Minnesota LB Jack Cottrell (.851) and Ohio WR Drew Barksdale (.817).
Out of those top five recruits, only Montgomery had offers from any BCS schools. Boston College is off the schedule for the next two seasons but they are back on in 2015 and 2016.
Class Rank: 85
'12 ClassRank: 78
No. Recruits: 20
Steve Addazio left Temple late last year and now the Owls are led by Matt Rhule who was an assistant at the school from 2006 to 2011. He spent this past season as the assistant offensive line coach with the New York Giants.
The Irish will play Temple for the first time ever to open the upcoming 2013 season and will face the Owls in 2014 and 2017 as well.
Temple's class is pretty solid given their coaching turnover. It's led by New Jersey LB Buddy Brown (.875) and is bolstered by New Jersey RB Zaire Williams (.861), New Jersey LB Jarred Alwan (.836), and Pennsylvania OG Matt Barone (.826).
Class Rank: 77
'12 Class Rank: 58
No. Recruits: 19
The Orange are not on next year's schedule but they will be from 2014 through 2017.
Syracuse lost their head coach Doug Marrone to the Buffalo Bills so this class slipped a little from last year and it ranked 12th in the ACC.
Headliners include Illinois Kendall Moore OT (.850), New York DT Wayne Williams (.847), North Carolina WR Corey Cooper (.852), and Arizona S Darius Kelly (.829). New head coach Scott Schafer did a pretty good job closing this class out---it's missing some higher talent but there's a lot of solid recruits among the 23 signed. Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician has the breakdown of the class from their head coach HERE.
Class Rank: 63
'12 Class Rank: 6
No. Recruits: 12
David Shaw is welcoming back seemingly 20 5th-year seniors next season so he was really handcuffed with available scholarships for this 2013 cycle. Still, after closing out 2012 with a bang and a top 10 class the Cardinal finished this year without much fanfare.
Only 12 players signed with half being 3-stars. Rule of Tree says it's not time to panic, the class has a lot of upside and size, but not many freshmen will make an instant impact outside of a tight end or two.
The top player is North Carolina LB Peter Kalambayi (.931) who is one of the best middle linebacker prospects in the country. The Cardinal also inked a top signal-caller in Virginia QB Ryan Burns (.927), and another promising linebacker in Californian Kevin Palma (.890).
Two Irish targets in California WR Francis Owusu (.908) and California TE Austin Hooper (.878) round out the small class for Stanford.
Class Rank: 62
'12 Class Rank: 50
No. Recruits: 24
Purdue's composite team ranking fell from last year's class (new head coach Darrell Hazell doesn't have a mustache after all, so what do they expect??) but Hammer and Rails seems pretty content nonetheless.
The top recruits are Indiana QB Danny Etling (.896), Florida ATH Leroy Clark (.843), Georgia RB Keyante Green (.854), and Kentucky RB Dalyn Dawkins (.837). As H&R writes:
All four of these guys were rated as a four-star prospect by at least one major service, which is a recent record for Purdue.
Purdue continues to hit the states of Florida and Georgia hard as 10 of their recruits come from those two areas. It'll be interesting to see if Hazell continues those pipelines in the coming years.
Arizona State Sun Devils
Class Rank: 41
'12 Class Rank: 37
No. Recruits: 27
I'm being told that Todd Graham will be staying at least another year in Tempe, so the Sun Devils have that going for them. The Irish will play Arizona State at Jerry World this season and will play in the desert in 2014 before the Sun Devils come to South Bend in 2017.
House of Sparky admits that ASU missed out on the top in-state talent and didn't close strong, but calls this a quality free agent class thanks to 10 JUCO signings.
Half of the top end of the class came from JUCO, but the top recruit was Irish target Arizona LB Chans Cox (.922) and they also signed Ohio ATH Marcus Ball (.863) who Notre Dame also offered after he flipped from Wisconsin on signing day.
Michigan State Spartans
Class Rank: 33
'12 Class Rank: 32
No. Recruits: 18
Michigan State has been dealing with a resurgent Michigan recruiting machine and that's made the Spartans adjust where they're getting prospects from. For this '13 class only 3 members come from the state of Michigan and the entire class did not feature any early enrollees.
The community at The Only Colors seems reasonably pleased with the class although they don't expect more than one or two recruits to play in 2013.
Overall, the class features four 4-star players in Pennsylvania QB Damion Terry (.917), Michigan LB Jon Reschke (.919), Michigan OT Dennis Finley (.891), and Ohio LB Shane Jones (.903).
Terry had some interest from Notre Dame but the Irish only offered Illinois DE Demetrius Cooper (.860) from this Spartan class.
Class Rank: 32
'12 Class Rank: 34
No. Recruits: 27
Pitt signed a lot of bodies in Paul Chryst's first full recruiting class but it does lack some top-end talent.
They did ink one superstar in the making in Pennsylvania OT Dorian Johnson (.977), one of the top tackles in the country----but the rest of the class has just two 4-star recruits in Pennsylvania WR Tyler Boyd (.939) and Ohio QB TraVon Chapman (.893).
The Irish offered Johnson and Boyd while there was some mild interest in Chapman. Cardiac Hill was hoping for a last minute flip of WR Robert Foster from Alabama, but they concede Johnson is so talented that he may be starting next season for the Panthers.
Class Rank: 16
'12 Class Rank: 3
No. Recruits: 15
Is this real life? A Texas class that doesn't even crack the top 5, let alone the top 10 in the country? Yup, the Longhorns had some players leave their class (5 in fact---as many as left their classes from 2008 to 2012 COMBINED) and they were never able to regroup and add more numbers. I'd expect their 2014 class to be very large and in typical Texas fashion they have 8 verbals already.
The Irish don't play Texas until 2015 and 2016 when this class of recruits are upperclassmen, and who knows if Mack Brown is still the coach in Austin then, right?
It's a small class but Texas did well at offensive line, but Barking Carnival laments the fact that the Horns didn't take a single defensive lineman. Of the 15 recruits, a full 9 are 4-stars or higher---solid but not great work by Texas standards.
The top recruits are Texas OG Darius James (.983), Texas OT Kent Perkins (.980), Texas C Jake Raulerson (.943), Texas OLB Deoundrei Davis (.939), and Texas CB Antwuan Davis (.935). The Irish had offered Raulerson, Davis, and Texas ATH Tyrone Swoopes (.918).
Class Rank: 15
'12 Class Rank: 15
No. Recruits: 24
The Sooners took home the top class in their league barely edging out Texas in a seriously down cycle for the whole Big 12. Bud Elliot gave OU just a C+ grade for this class and the Irish wrap up their 2-game series with Oklahoma this year which means Notre Dame won't likely see most of these kids.
It was a small class for most of the 2012 calendar year, but Oklahoma added 4 JUCO's and finished strong over the final 3 months leading up to National Signing Day.
Their top players are Texas RB Keith Ford (.987), Texas QB Cody Thomas (.949), Oklahoma DE D.J. Ward (.941), Oklahoma WR Stanvon Taylor (.936), and California S Hatari Byrd (.928).
The Irish offered Ford, Thomas, and Byrd, in addition to Florida S Ahmad Thomas (.868) and California CB L.J. Moore (.903)---the latter joining the Sooner class on National Signing Day.
Southern California Trojans
Class Rank: 14
'12 Class Rank: 8
No. Recruits: 12
USC's class famously fell apart down the stretch as they lost 6 verbals by the time NSD rolled around. Although, they were able to add Florida OLB Quinton Powell (.925) at the end which helped a little bit.
Obviously it's a tiny class with only 3 linemen total, but the talent across the board is ridiculous. In fact, according to the composite rankings every member of this 12-man group is above .900.
The top recruits are California S Su'a Cravens (.996), Washington QB Max Browne (.993), Maryland DT Kenny Bigelow (.994), Florida S Leon McQuay III (.984), and California CB Chris Hawkins (.974). The first 4 of those players are consensus 5-star players, and the whole class is 4-stars or better.
Notre Dame offered Cravens, Browne, McQuay, and Hawkins in addition to Illinois RB Ty Isaac (.973), California RB Justin Davis (.952), California WR Steven Mitchell (.969), California OT Nico Falah (.913), and California LB Michael Hutchings (.949). Half this class enrolled early to help out the depth problems USC currently faces at several positions.
Class Rank: 5
'12 Class Rank: 9
No. Recruits: 27
This is back-to-back top 10 classes for Brady Hoke and his staff and it's also his second straight large class as the remnants of the Rich Rod era have fled Ann Arbor in droves over the past couple years. This has allowed the Wolverines to sign 12 more players over the past two cycles than the Irish.
It's important to remember that Michigan is off the schedule after the 2014 game so a lot of these recruits may never see regular action against Notre Dame. It's a really good class heavy on the offensive linemen (6 recruits) and Maize N Brew is very happy with it---although they do recognize the bust factor on Shane Morris, so good on them.
The top recruits include Virginia RB Derrick Green (.986), Pennsylvania OG Patrick Kugler (.969), Ohio S Dymonte Thomas (.968), Michigan QB Shane Morris (.967), and Illinois OG Kyle Bosch (.958).
Notre Dame offered Bosch, Kugler, and Thomas in addition to Illinois OT Logan Tuley-Tillman (.926), Maryland DT Henry Poggi (.941), and Ohio LB Taco Charlton (.936).