Stay on top of the targets and all other Notre Dame recruiting updates via our Recruiting Central hub.
You all are familiar with our eligibility chart so I will get right to it. Players in Blue are currently jockeying for position in the two deep. Players in Red are currently injured.
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.
Since we last took a look at the numbers in June the staff has added 7 more verbal commitments to #GoldenArmy14 bringing the current class total to 17.
The current math is below.
10 Seniors that will be eligible to apply for a 5th year
17 Verbal Commitments
There are 16 Total scholarships available for new recruits if all 10 of the 5th year options are utilized. All 16 of those scholarships have already been claimed by verbal commitments.
There are a maximum of 10 additional spots available as a 1 for 1 replacement for 5th year options. 1 of those scholarships for a 5th year player has also already been claimed by a verbal commitment.
I expect that the staff will now utilize 5 more of those 5th year options which will put the total number in the 2014 signing class at 22. This will allow the staff to keep 4 players for a 5th year in 2014. Any further natural roster attrition will obviously free up additional scholarships for this cycle. I believe it is likely that an additional 1-2 spots become available between now and signing day due to some combination of transfers and injuries.
There are a couple of other lingering questions that could play into it though. Will the staff save a spot for Everett Golson to return? I have to imagine that is the plan. What is the likelihood that Chase Hounshell returns to the field? Golson and Hounshell could potentially be a 1 for 1 in the numbers game. What about Stephon Tuitt? Will the big man enter the NFL Draft?
In the end I think we will end up with a class of 23.
Now let's take a quick look the 10 players with a 5th year option.
Louis Nix III- He gone.
Likely to return
Christian Lombard- No brainer. Lombard is back.
Kendall Moore- With the roster thin at inside linebacker I think Moore will be back with a chance to start next to the Werewolf.
Lo Wood- With Bennett Jackson graduating Wood likely returns to start opposite KeiVarae Hustle.
Austin Collinsworth- I can't see Collinsworth not coming back. He's a solid safety, a great special teams guy and one of CBK's favorite RKG's.
On the bubble
Justin Utopo- This one most likely depends on the degree to which he contributes this fall.
Andrew Hendrix- Can the staff persuade Hendrix to stick around for a 5th year in a red hat? If Golson doesn't return I could definitely see them trying.
Alex Welch- If Heuerman and Smythe come along this fall Welch might be moving on.
Unlikely to return
Luke Massa- Mookie Lassa most likely moves on.
What do you all think?