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What Notre Dame Football Fans Need To Know About National Signing Day

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Things are different this year, and it changes everything.

Golden Dome Twitter @mattcashore

If you follow Notre Dame Fighting Irish recruiting closely, you probably already know what is shortly coming for the Notre Dame football program. It's prime recruiting season, and things are heating up in South Bend and across the country. However... there was a change made to the recruiting calendar that will affect everything.

We have TWO signing days now.

RECRUITS CAN SIGN LOI'S ON DECEMBER 20-22

What does this mean? Well, for starters, it means that for a lot of teams (Notre Dame included) most, if not all of their commitments will finalize the deal and sign in December. Programs will know what they have in front of them as those prospects that are uncommitted or unsigned, will be "up for grabs."

For the Irish, this means that we could see 18+ prospects finalize their recruitment in just a few weeks. Brian Kelly and his staff can then concentrate their efforts on filling out the rest of the class.

AFTER THE 22nd

The NCAA will have its normal quiet and dead periods, and of course we will have the usual High School All-American games. A lot of top prospects like to wait until these games to make a decision, but even when they commit, they still have to wait until the next signing day period to send in their LOI.

With a lot of recruits already signed to their respective school, the amount of pressure and contact with the remaining recruits will be on an insane level.

THE FIRST WEDNESDAY IN FEBRUARY

The final stage of the recruiting cycle still occurs on the first Wednesday in February. While most of the recruiting classes around the country will already be signed before this day, I still expect about the same level of hype. Most years, the guys that signed early in this cycle would have had their fax in first thing in the morning - so the drama will be on the same level.

NOTRE DAME'S DRIVE FOR 25

A few insiders have remarked that they believe the Irish will try and sign 25 in this class. Notre Dame is really in a numbers crunch, so this would mean that besides the players we are certain are leaving Notre Dame early, there will be more than a few more to come.

If 25 is what the Irish want, they might be able to lock that in. With 18 commits, adding 7 more between now and February seems like a lot, but there are a lot of prospects that really, really like the Irish and could commit if pushed.

Personally, however, I think Notre Dame ends up signing under the 25 (probably about 22 or 23). Seven more in this class would basically be about a dream finish to the cycle, and one we aren't accustomed to seeing in South Bend.