“Does this class have the power to bring a National Championship to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish?” - Every single one of us who begins to analyze the class of 2018.
The obvious answer here is yes. My reasoning for this is that it is particularly easy to “project” what type of player an 18 year old is going to be for the Irish when the tape we have on them is dominating other 15-18 year olds. I joke, but this is always a great time of the year for optimists. Fans find themselves at an awkward time where the bowl games we care about have not arrived, and we are still grinding out the last couple days of our “jobs” before the holidays. Like many college football fans who are suddenly without the thing we love, we go down the deep deep spirals of college football recruiting. We find ourselves scouring the web web looking at what 17 year olds have “liked” or “favorited” on twitter and religiously check the updated “crystal ball” predictions for players.
On the surface, this is actually pretty ridiculous, but as long as you don’t take it too far and try to become one with the madness, (like DMing/liking/commenting on high schoolers statuses-*cough Bill Post cough*) then it is a very entertaining time to be a fan.
And so I digress-It is an incredibly fun time to watch highlight tapes and envision the types of talent that will be joining the Irish in the Fall, and some in the Spring. I always remember watching some of the highlights and thinking, this guy is going to be “the guy” for us in a couple years. Some of the more vivid ones I remember include Everett Golson (watch his first throw below), Equanimeous St. Brown, Manti Te’o, and others. I will highlight below some of the more impressive ones in this class of guys I hope to see dominate in years to come.
PS NEVER FORGET
TAKES/Players who can be “The Guys”
When asking yourself the question of, “can this be the class that takes the Irish to the National Championship”, you want to pinpoint a couple of the guys who can be the leaders. I take a stab at some of those guys, who for one reason or another, could be the future Captains/Leaders.
The most obvious player to build the “National Championship Hype” around is the Quarterback. I am ALLL in on this kid. He put up an insane stat line during the playoffs and consistently made plays with his legs and his arm. Give him a year in the weight room and the film room and he can be a dynamic force for the Irish for 3+ years. Also Check out the tape from the State Championship game Below-he is a bruiser and a leader, and has a frame to be a monster.
Just watch the first 3 highlights. He goes up and gets the ball in traffic, and also runs away from people-This was a horrible spot for the offense this year. We lost so many 50/50 balls, to both drops and PBUs. This is something that would have been tremendous for the development of Brandon Wimbush had they gone a different way.
His Highlights won’t blow you away, but I love how he attacks ball carriers in open space. I can see him being an immediate contributor on Special teams and a desperately needed playmaking safety in the future. Also, there is something I love about players who are Local. Those guys buy into the culture of South Bend right away and have a chance to be leaders right off the bat. Additionally, he seems like a humble and hardworking kid-as seen in the interview below:
This is cheating just a bit-but this is honestly like signing a 5 Star Recruit. A guy who can come in and start in his first full season with the Irish. He was Navy’s top Defensive back, and every single report about the reigning Scout team player of the year describes how intense he is about his approach to the game. He was kicked out of multiple sessions for going too hard....THAT is the type of guy you want start at safety. My way to early Hot Take is that Alohi will be an All American next season. He is hungry to get on the field, after spending an entire year out the spot light, especially when he deserved to be in it.
NOW back to the question....can this class lead Notre Dame to a National Championship? Only time will tell.....but the emergence of leaders will be the driving factor.