The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have been cleaning up on the recruiting trail so far this cycle. The Irish have 14 commitments, and the #4 ranked recruiting class — right behind the Alabama Crimson Tide, Texas A&M Aggies, and Oklahoma Sooners. It’s been good news followed by good news for the class, and we are still only in June.
What’s remarkable, is that the Irish are ranked so high and doing so well — and all of this is without a single offensive skill player committed. The Irish usually make their recruiting bones with quarterbacks, wide receivers, and tight ends, but this class is completely devoid of those positions.
So... how good can this class get?
Yes, I realize we are talking about this 6 months before the early signing period, and 7 1⁄2 months from National Signing Day. There is some basic info here that you need to know before your hopes are dashed.
NO 5 STARS IN SIGHT
Right now, there are thirty-four 5 Star players on 247. That’s quite a bit. Notre Dame’s top two recruits right now are Quinn Carroll (92) and Nana Osafo-Mensah (109). For those that think a 5 Star bump could happen for one of those guys... that’s a steep climb.
Add that to the fact that the Irish are no where near to being “in it” with any other 5 Star prospect, and once again... Notre Dame will sign a class without one of those “elite, elite” players.
Can a class with zero 5 Stars finish in the top 10? Sure, but it’s not that common. Over the last 5 years, a team with zero 5 Stars has ended up in the top 10 each year.
- 2014 Tennessee Volunteers #7 (32 signed)
- 2016 Texas Longhorns #7 (29 signed)
- 2017 Oklahoma Sooners #8 (28 signed)
- 2017 Notre Dame #10 (21 signed)
- 2018 Notre Dame #10 (27 signed)
The Irish have pulled this feat off twice in the last 5 years (and consecutively over the past two years). Usually this high ranking without any 5 Stars means the class is quite large — although that 21 man class of 2017 for Notre Dame really stands out.
Notre Dame might have peaked in terms of the 2019 team rankings. After doing a bit of forecasting, I added the 7 most likely kids left to commit Notre Dame to their current class. Using the class calculator on 247, we are looking at a class ranking of about 255 points. 255 points would have got the Irish a ranking of #15 last season.
Given the recruits left on the board, the teams in the hunt, and just our general insight into how this class will shape up with (roughly) 21 or 22 commits; the Irish could land somewhere between #10 and #15 in the final team rankings.
THIS IS ABOUT RIGHT
Brian Kelly mentioned in a press conference that the Irish would most likely be in that #5-#15 range in most years. While some people were a bit dismayed with this analysis from the head coach of the Fighting Irish — it’s also pretty accurate. Notre Dame isn’t going to rack up the 4-6 5 Star players that the top 5 grab each year. Notre Dame can, however, continue to land right around that #10 spot.
Don’t get discouraged when you start seeing the Irish fall in those team recruiting rankings. It’s going to happen, but it shouldn’t put in question how good this class already is, or how good it’s going to be in February.
The new recruiting strategies that Notre Dame and Brian kelly have put forward seem to be working on the trail, and they are getting a lot of the guys they really want. Mike Elston and Jeff Quinn (SURPRISE!) have been amazing recruiters for this class.
Whether it finishes #8 or #12, this class is really good and an excellent complement to what they did in the 2018 recruiting cycle. So how good can this class get? Well... good.