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Notre Dame Football Recruiting: How important is CROOTIN to the Irish?

It’s not just a word in some places.

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic - Clemson v Notre Dame Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Recruiting is the lifeblood of every college football program — including the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. While great coaching and development can do quite a bit, it still takes a roster full of blue-chippers to win a national championship. Banner Society’s Bud Elliott puts together a list every year of the programs with the best Blue-Chip Ratio, and you can be certain that the eventual champion will be on that list.

We know this — none of this is a new thing — but how committed is Notre Dame to the dark art of recruiting? Notre Dame has some built-in advantages and some built-in disadvantages when it comes to recruiting, and for what it’s worth, the Irish do a really good job out on the trail. Some schools, however, take it to another level.

Take the LSU Tigers and head coach Ed Orgeron for example. Orgeron was a part of the recruiting machine that Pete Carroll put together for the USC Trojans, and understands that players make the program great. It’s a philosophy that he continually hammers home as this video that surfaced from Saturday night shows quire clearly:

While addressing his team in his wild emotional state, Ed Orgeron yells out about how LSU was “going to beat that ass in recruiting.” This wasn’t for reporters — it was for his team. It shows how much importance Ed puts on recruiting, and how he involves them in the process.

Need more proof? How about this?

Now, outside of the obvious that Notre Dame would have to beat a top 5 team on the road first... would you ever imagine the Irish doing this after a football game? Probably not. It’s brash and in-your-face and something one doesn’t normally associate Notre Dame with in this regard — but it works.

It’s called “CROOTIN” and is generally the same as “recruiting” but on a whole different level. How important is it to Notre Dame — well they don’t exactly do it, so not that important. Could it be something they could do a little more of and still be on whatever pedestal than fans want to put them on? Sure.

Right now Notre Dame has its own thing going on in the world of recruiting, and whether you want to believe it or not, it’s working pretty well. Currently the Irish have the #9 recruiting class for 2020 and the #3 class for 2021 with two 5-Star commitments. You can definitely make the case that 3 or 4 of their 4-Star commitments will be or should be a 5-Star, so that’s pretty good as well.

Brian Kelly is not Ed Orgeron, and in the overall scheme of it all, that’s a really good thing. As always, it’s just different at Notre Dame. Recruiting is extremely important, but CROOTIN is just a fun word in South Bend.