The Notre Dame Fighting Irish finished the 2017 football recruiting cycle with a small bang. With less than a week to go until National Signing Day, the Irish had 15 commitments and had very little optimism that more than a couple of players would be added to the class. There was a huge push by Brian Kelly and the coaching staff to finish strong with circumstances lining up against them.
Notre Dame ended up signing six more players to the class, and effectively saved the cycle. It finished the cycle ranked 11th in the country according to the 247 composite rankings, and was less than a half a point short compared to Florida, the 10th ranked team.
That’s not horrible, and after a season that saw a disastrous 4-8 finish, uncertainty with the job security of Brian Kelly, half of the staff being turned over, and a diminishing pool to recruit... it was a really nice job.
That’s the bright side. The cold truth is that they still managed to finish the class without a single player from their home state (which had a nice handful of good players), no cornerbacks, no 5 star prospects, and bad new on the trail that makes you wonder... what in the hell is going on?
The cold truth actually puts a stronger light on the bright side. It was a really strong finish. Damn strong. It wasn’t the greatest, but we have seen much worse. That isn’t setting the bar lower, that’s just accepting the reality of the situation. The strong finish is encouraging- not just for this class, but for the possibility of future classes. The new staff members seem really determined and capable of recruiting top players to Notre Dame, and we will get a better grasp on that in the months to come.
The One Foot Down editorial staff sat down the night of Signing Day and chatted about the class. Personally, I had 4 hours of total sleep in the previous 48 and about one hour in the 36 hours leading up to this recording. I may have been drinking prior and during the show, so... be kind (There is a little NSFW language). Big thanks to Brad, Jude, Bobby, and Pat for all their hard work in covering the day with me.