With what was probably more than 80% of the top 300 recruits signing their NLIs on Wednesday, the team recruiting rankings are really close to what they will look like when the cycle finishes in February. After a short visit to the #9 spot, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are currently #11 with 18 commitments according to the 247 Composite Team Rankings. ESPN has Notre Dame at #13 and Rivals ranked the Irish at #15.
Based off of available scholarships, we knew that this was going to be a much smaller class than what we have seen over the last few years. Smaller classes naturally mean lower rankings. It’s a math thing (yuck math).
Notre Dame earned 257.19 points for its 18 recruits. I read somewhere once that 20 recruits is like the target number for these rankings, so the Irish had 2 less than that (yay math). Here’s the LINK to the scholarship chart if you want to know why they only took 18 (plus one transfer).
So, what if Notre Dame was able to have signed more recruits? What if, for example, they were to get to 20? Well, let’s get them there.
Using 247’s class calculator, I chose two recruits to add to this class. Running back Tirek Murphy (Purdue Boilermakers) and offensive lineman Peter Skoronski (Northwestern Wildcats). Murphy would most likely be Irish if Notre Dame had pushed him, but Skoronski was a clear loss. Those additions would have given the Irish 268.69 points and the #8 ranking.
If you add one more, because there is a long snapper on here, the ranking moves again. Add defensive lineman Deonte Craig (Iowa Hawkeyes) to the mix and the Irish have 271.16 points and the #7 spot. Craig is an Indiana kid that Notre Dame took a pass on.
Say you add two more to bring the total to 23 recruits (about average size for ND over the Kelly era). Let’s add linebacker Cody Simon (Ohio State Buckeyes) and Cullen Coleman (Northwestern). Simon is the brother of Shayne Simon and Coleman was another “pass” from Notre Dame (and a 3 star). The total slides up to 277.57, but the Irish would still be at #7 — and just ever so slightly below the Texas A&M Aggies at #6.
Just based off of that small exercise (one where i’m not just adding 5-Stars or guys that never had an interest in ND) it’s a fair statement to say that this class is worthy of top 10 status. The overall quality is so good, that 5 recruits (four 4-Stars & one 3-Star) only moves them from 11 to 7.
I’m good with that.
Notre Dame currently has the #1 class for 2021, but there is still an entire year to go. If the Irish finish 2021 somewhere in the top 5, it would be one hell of a recruiting cycle for Kelly and Notre Dame.