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Notre Dame Football Recruiting: Will the Irish ever allow admission for reclassified recruits?

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It’s a different question than, “should they?” allow them.

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The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are off to a fantastic start with their 2023 recruiting class. At present, the Irish are loaded up with seven commitments — five of which are ranked as top 150 prospects, and they have the #2 class according to the 247 Team Composite Rankings. None of the seven are or will be, 5-Star Sonny Styles from Pickerington Central in Ohio.

Sonny, the brother of freshman standout Irish WR Lorenzo, was once the top player on Notre Dame’s 2023 recruiting board. Notre Dame was in a battle with the Ohio State Buckeyes for Styles in a process that many insiders figured to be over with this spring with a commitment. There was the pull of his father’s alma mater and the in-state power, and then there was another pull to follow his older brother to South Bend. Styles made a sudden commitment this fall, and while his announcement for the Buckeyes wasn’t a surprise, it was definitely a little bit of a gut punch.

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Shortly after Styles’s commitment, we learned that the incredible athlete was going to reclassify to be a part of the 2022 class — and be a freshman for the Buckeyes next season rather than in 2023. I can’t say with 100% certainty that the reclassification had a big part in his decision — but it definitely hindered Notre Dame.

Whether or not Notre Dame SHOULD allow reclassified athletes isn’t the question I’m asking today. Most of us could probably come together on the merits of allowing this practice to happen at Notre Dame, and in doing so, I imagine we would create some type of perfect scenario to defend the practice. It’s almost 2022 — we can argue almost anything at this point.

The real question isn’t should they — it’s will they?

For a school that already has well-known academic standards, I find it hard to believe they would bend this much for admissions. Allowing a kid who was just a high school junior in May to enroll as a freshman in June is still a much bigger difference than allowing early enrollees in January.

It just feels like a giant stretch to me for a program that has lost out on multiple recruits due to them having just one less foreign language credit than required. It’s not something that we have talked about a lot over the last few years despite a handful of top prospects choosing that route. Almost all of the other ones weren’t any type of lean towards Notre Dame — but the Styles case hits home... so we’re talking about it more and more.

Personally, I don’t ever see Notre Dame taking a reclassified student — but what do you think? Again, this isn’t about whether or not Notre Dame should allow it to happen, it’s about whether or not you think the Irish will eventually allow the practice to go on there.

Poll

Will Notre Dame ever allow reclassified HS prospects to enroll?

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    Yep
    (164 votes)
  • 58%
    Nope
    (557 votes)
  • 24%
    I honestly don’t know
    (232 votes)
953 votes total Vote Now

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