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National Signing Day: A few thoughts about Notre Dame’s early period results

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This is day ONE

Twenty-three of the twenty-four Notre Dame Fighting Irish commitments for the 2021 class sent their NLI’s to Brian Kelly, and a 24th/25th committed and signed on Wednesday. The early period is far from over — just as the 2021 cycle is VERY far from over.

I have a few thoughts about today that maybe I’ll share on the podcast tonight, but in case I get sidetracked, I’m going to park them here to discuss.

CROWN HIM

After all of the hand-wringing over Prince Kollie’s uneasiness following the Clark Lea departure — his early submission of the NLI was a fist pump moment. The importance of Kollie to this class can’t be talked about enough. Throughout the entire cycle we questioned just what the hell Notre Dame was doing at linebacker, and even our friend Carter Karels was confused as well. Making sure Prince and Kahana Kia were both in this class was vital to the health of the roster.

A TERRIBLE PRESS CONFERENCE

What the hell are we even doing here? The video isn’t available right now, but the signing day press conference with Brian Kelly and Brian Polian was just bad — just plain bad — and it wasn’t the Brian’s fault.

The coaches can’t talk about these players publicly to the media until a NLI is processed, and so we spent most of the press conference discussing things we already knew about the recruiting processes from previous pressers with Kelly. It was a waste of time to ask most of what was put to them by the media. I had several questions about Cane Berrong and Lorenzo Styles ready to go, but of course, skipped over for another process question from a reporter trying to write the one (of 10) grand story of the corona class.

One reporter that clearly has written nothing about recruiting this year, asked Kelly if one of the players that signed today could switch to running back since there were no running backs on this handy media cheatsheet.

WHAT THE HELL ARE WE EVEN DOING HERE?

RUNNING

Speaking of running backs... Logan Diggs was the lone commit going into the day that did not send in his NLI. He recently just got an offer from the in-state LSU Tigers, so that mucked things up a bit. It’s uncertain what happens next with Diggs, but Kelly said he did expect to sign two running backs this week (more on that in a minute). LSU will sign two running backs in this class by the end of the day, so I’m not sure what Diggs is doing — but I’m also not sure that he’s definitely not going to be Irish. He did tweet this out earlier:

Waiting to decide, or waiting to sign? I honestly don’t know at this point, but nothing would surprise me.

ADD-ONS

Again, Brian Kelly did say that he expects o sign two running backs this week and a player on the back end. He even mentioned something about more after the early period and this will be the biggest class Notre Dame has signed during his time in South Bend.

I think we’re all sold on 4-Star RB Audric Estime as one of those players, but the other back could be Bryson Cardwell from San Diego and not Diggs — or it could be Estime and Diggs.Notre Dame is adamant about signing two backs, and in my opinion, I’m good right now with any combination as long as that combo has Estime.

The “back end” player is most likely Khari Gee, a current LSU commit himself. Gee is from Atlanta, and although committed to the Tigers, LSU just signed 3 safeties today.

I do have a lot more to say about this class, but I want to get past the early signing period first to have some better perspective. Currently the Irish have the #9 class in the country, and that’s pretty damn good.

Stay tuned.