It might be time to break out the panic button for running back recruiting for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Yesterday, while Notre Dame fans were joyously fist-pumping over a quarterback commitment for 2020, the Irish missed out on another of their top running back targets.
Cesare “Chez” Mellusi took a visit to see the Clemson Tigers, and he committed to them before he went home to Florida. Chez represented the best chance at running back the Irish have in this cycle.
It’s a story that is getting harder and harder to swallow. Notre Dame is having a horrific time recruiting ball-carriers, and Notre Dame running backs coach, Autry Denson, should be held accountable.
Over the past several years, Notre Dame continues to take a whiff at any running back that could be labeled as elite - or even close to elite.
Notre Dame RB Recruiting 2012-2018
|4* Will Mahone||4* Greg Bryant||----||4* Dexter Williams||4* Tony Jones Jr.||4* C.J. Holmes||3* Jahmir Smith|
|4* Keivarae Russell||4* Tarean Folston||----||4* Josh Adams||3* Deon Mcntosh||----||3* C'Bo Flemister|
Take a close look at that table. That certainly doesn’t look like the recruiting results of a program that is chasing the playoffs or a national championship. In fact... on several occasions this spring, insiders have noted that Notre Dame running backs have looked “avaerage” and “pedestrian” after watching practice.
Those statements are quite ominous for those that hoped Notre Dame would continue to concentrate and develop their running game after last season’s amazing results. How can Notre Dame continue to keep missing on the best running backs in the country while still landing some of the best offensive lineman? No doubt that Denson isn’t the only one that detractors can point a finger to as a reason.
Don’t be fooled by those that say “this isn’t a big deal” or that Notre Dame will be fine in the future. The pool of top backs is quickly evaporating into the backyards of the Miami-Florida Hurricanes, Ohio State Buckeyes, Stanford Cardinal, and of course - Clemson.
If there is an actual 5 Star running back that Notre Dame is recruiting, it’s 5 Star Athlete Quavaris Crouch. Crouch is considered a better linebacker prospect, and most likely will end up at... wait for it... Clemson.
If you want to bury your head in the sand and believe that everything is just fine, by all means... go right ahead. Keep believing that Notre Dame will be able to compete for the playoffs with 3 Star running backs instead of elite running backs. Keep believing those that are trying to sell you that turd sandwich.
You need a breath mint, but I need a Xanax. Even if Notre Dame does well in 2018 on the ground, how will they fare in 2019 or 2020? Oh that’s right... we got our quartreback for 2010.
All is well.