With National Signing Day almost two weeks behind us, and spring football directly ahead, it’s time to start to take stock of what the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have in their arsenal. As of right now, the Irish have their 85 man roster filled (with some help from walk-on turned scholly wizard, Chris Finke).
One of my post-signing day rituals is finding out where the Notre Dame recruits are coming from. For over a decade now, I have published my findings and have put some light on the top eight states that send the Irish their high school players. For the sake of brevity, I will only go in depth on the top five states this year.
Regardless of records, pipelines, location, and anything else that affects recruiting, the number one tool and what helps get the best recruits are relationships. Relationships don’t just start and end with a particular recruit, they also extend to coaches, teachers, family members, and other community leaders such as a pastor or politician. You can not recruit without developing more than one relationship. Once roots are laid down, it is much easier to expand that recruiting footprint in the future (which is why we talk about pipelines).
So, enough of the preamble. Not only is it important to know where Notre Dame gets it players, we also need to know how hard they worked those areas. Here is the map and the interactive map:
The Top 5 States
- 12 Players
- 3.33 Average Star Rating
- 4 in 2017 class
- Most Notable: Te’von Coney, Kevin Stepherson, Dexter Williams, Devin Studstill
It should come as ZERO shock to anyone that has paid attention to recruiting over the years that Florida is the single biggest provider of recruits for Notre Dame. The Irish, like many other programs that reside outside of the state, have made Florida a priority. The university extended 35 scholarship offers to student-athletes from Florida, the most of any state in 2017.
- 9 players
- 3.55 Average Star Rating
- 2 in 2017 class
- Most notable: Nyles Morgan, Julian Love, Miles Boykin
The Irish extended just four offers to student-athletes from Illinois in the 2017 class, but landed two of them: 4-star TE Cole Kmet and 4-star safety Isaiah Robertson. Five-star strong side defensive end A.J. Epenesa was courted, but ultimately picked Iowa.
- 8 players
- 3.6 Average Star Rating
- 2 in 2017 class
- Most notable: Equanimeous St. Brown, C.J. Sanders
The Irish extended 23 offers to student-athletes from California who were in the 2017 class, but lured just two - safety Jordan Genmark Heath and offensive tackle Aaron Banks - to South Bend. Eleven of those offered in this class chose in-state colleges over Notre Dame (5 UCLA, 4 USC, 2 Cal, 1 Stanford). Six others chose schools in the Pacific Northwest. It remains difficult to lure California boys out of the warm west climes.
- 7 players
- 3.85 average star rating
- 0 in 2017 class
- Most notable: Shaun Crawford, Daniel Cage, Tommy Kraemer
Swing and a miss. The Irish whiffed on all six offers they extended to Ohio student-athletes in the class of 2017. Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes convinced four of those players - all four stars, natch - to come to Columbus. The other two picked the Louisville Cardinals and the Kentucky Wildcats.
- 5 players
- 3.8 Average Star Rating
- 3 in 2017 class
- Most notable: Josh Adams
The Irish prevailed with their picks in the Keystone State. Three of the five offered - 4-star OT Joshua Lugg, 4-star ILB David Adams and 3-star DT Kurt Hinish - signed with Notre Dame. Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the one that got away: 4-star strong side defensive end Donovan Jeter verbally committed to the Irish after its Michigan State loss and then de-committed a month later to join the Michigan Wolverines.
Here is the state by state breakdown for Notre Dame football offers for this past cycle. The total number of offers per state- broke down with star ratings. I’ll leave you with your own conclusions to draw here, but pay particular attention to the 5 states listed above compared to the rest of the list. What do you see that sticks out?
2017 Notre Dame offers by state & star rating