The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have an advantage and a curse every recruiting cycle. Notre Dame is big enough, and “brand” enough, to go into just about any part of the country that they want to and become a real contender to gain commitments from recruits. The curse is that they absolutely have to do this to stay relevant on the field.
It’s a lot of work.
Most recruiting cycles see much of the same type of recruiting strategies, but for this cycle, the Irish changed course dramatically. Last winter, Brian Kelly stated that they were going to focus a lot less on Florida when it comes to recruiting, and put a bigger emphasis on Georgia, Texas, and other states. He had his reasons, but trying to skip out on Florida in the world of college football recruiting is a very risky situation for a school that has to recruit nationally.
Florida has been one of the centerpieces of the Notre Dame pipeline for many years, as it has either been the #1 or #2 state in terms of scholarship players on the roster for well over a decade. Out of the 199 offers that Notre Dame sent out in the 2019 cycle, only 9 of them were for Florida recruits. How is that different than previous years?
- 2018: 183 offers — Florida 28
- 2017: 210 offers — Florida 34
- 2016: 188 offers — Florida 36
- 2015: 188 offers — Florida 33
For the 2020 cycle, Notre Dame has 88 offers out with 7 of them being for Florida prospects. It will take a few more months to see what general direction 2020 will end up going towards, but there seems to be a fairly high satisfaction level inside The Gug right now — so I’m betting on more of the same.
What’s kind of interesting is that the last time Notre Dame went through a recruiting cycle with ZERO Florida recruits signing with the Irish was in 2008. That class finished the recruiting cycle as the #2 ranked class in the country, and after several recruits failed to qualify to enroll at Alabama — Notre Dame ended with the #1 overall class.