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Notre Dame Football: The States Of Recruiting 2018

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Where is Notre Dame getting its football talent?

NCAA Football: Southern California at Notre Dame Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish finally got down to 85 scholarships last month. One of my post-signing day rituals is finding out where the Notre Dame recruits are coming from to fill out the roster. Obviously... I needed to wait a bit longer this year.

For over a decade now, I have published my findings and have shed 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 (which is actually six).

@phillykelly

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. You can also use our new Notre Dame Recruiting map by following THIS LINK RIGHT HERE.

Use the link above for the interactive map.

THE TOP 5 (6) STATES

1. FLORIDA

  • 12 Players
  • 3.58 Average Star Rating
  • 4 in 2018 class
  • Most Notable: Te’von Coney, Dexter Williams, Robert Hainsey

It’s about to get interesting for Florida recruiting. Year after year for well over a decade, Florida has been either #1 or #2 on this list. Brian Kelly is using a new recruiting strategy that will see the de-emphasis of targeting Florida recruits, while focusing more on Georgia, Texas, and a few other states. The Irish have added 8 in the last two classes — so Florida isn’t going to disappear anytime soon, but at this rate it won’t take long. (IMG kids are counted as Florida recruits despite the location of their hometown).

2. ILLINOIS

  • 9 Players
  • 3.55 Average Star Rating
  • 1 in 2018 class
  • Most Notable: Julian Love, Miles Boykin, Nic Weishar

It’s almost sneaky how Illinois is near the top of this list. With its proximity to Notre Dame, the Chicago area feeds quite a bit of talent to the Irish. The Irish only extended two offers in the 2018 class (after only 4 in the 2017 class). Currently the Irish have extended four offers in the 2019 class — with none leaning towards the Irish. After this year, Illinois could plummet in these rankings.

3. CALIFORNIA

  • 8 Players
  • 3.63 Average Star Rating
  • 3 in 2018 class
  • Most Notable: Ian Book, Jordan Genmark Heath

Despite always ranked high in terms of numbers, California recruits have underwhelmed as a whole over the last decade. The group this year, however, has a quarterback that a lot of people like, a couple of young defensive players on the rise, and two large offensive linemen prepared for the future. California holds the most offers by the Irish for any state, and the Irish are in the hunt for a handful of recruits this cycle.

4. OHIO

  • 6 Players
  • 3.33 Average Star Rating
  • 1 in 2018 class
  • Most Notable: Shaun Crawford, Chris Finke, Tommy Kraemer

Number four on this list and number one in my heart. Ohio has the lowest star rating on this entire list, but its contributors are as solid as any state. The trouble, as always, is in Columbus. Urban Meyer is a master at what he does, and the normally generous Catholic schools in Cincinnati have sent less and less. Notre Dame is focusing less and less in Ohio, and despite a really good player here and there... Ohio will fall down this list.

5A. NEW JERSEY

  • 4 Players
  • 3.75 Average Star Rating
  • 3 in 2018 Class
  • Most Notable: Brandon Wimbush

New Jersey saw a steep decline after the departure of Charlie Weis. Brian Kelly, however, has been able to go into St. Peter’s prep and win them over. All four (Wimbush, the Ademilola twins, and Shayne Simon) are from that high school. The 2019 class has two more — but the reach has extended past St. Peter’s into other high schools. This is a state on its way back up.

5B. PENNSYLVANIA

  • 4 Players
  • 3.75 Average Star Rating
  • 2 in 2018 class
  • Most Notable: Kurt Hinish

Pennsylvania has a LONG history of sending great players to Notre Dame, but their numbers have been up and down over the years. If the last player to leave the football team to get down to 85 (David Adams) would have stayed on the team — Pennsylvania would be alone in this 5th spot. Notre Dame is young in this state, but only sent out two offers for 2019. The star power is certainly there with Josh Lugg, Phil Jurkovec, and Bo Bauer. Kurt Hinish is already a major contributor as a rising sophomore, and Andrew Kristofic could be a great left tackle a few years from now.

Some Closing Thoughts

  • Georgia and Michigan both claim 4 players, but lack the ASR to be tied with New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
  • 24 states, Canada, and Washington D.C. are represented by the 85 scholarship players.
  • Texas took a dip, but will be on its way back up over the next few years.
  • Indiana has plummeted over the last few years. The Irish can’t seem to close on the states best talent — which is problematic.
  • Other states on the rise... Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina.