It started on Tuesday night for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Every coaching staff member and basically everyone involved with Notre Dame Football communications, and social media sent out a tweet to foreshadow the the day to come.
We knew Notre Dame was planning on a “Pot of Gold” recruiting day on March 17 thanks to an earlier announcement, but this “bat signal” was a little mysterious to fans and media members. We were 99% confident Joshua Burnham was going to announce his commitment to Notre Dame on Wednesday, but was this about something else? Was there another commitment in the works?
As it turned out, it was the first move for a day of a strategic and interesting tweets to help the Irish with their first major push for the 2023 recruiting class. St. Patrick’s Day is the premier day for Notre Dame to make a massive social media push — for obvious reasons. No other Power 5 school has a holiday that thematically captures the school’s colors and mascots. It’a all IRISH all day, and this was the perfect opportunity to make a big splash on a platform that Notre Dame has gradually improved its school and program presence on over the last year.
Not only does the timing need to be right — but it has to look good as well. This is where a guy like Matt Taylor gets involved. Matt is the art director for Notre Dame football, and it’s his work and designs that we see with the “bat signal” as well as all of the recruiting graphics. His art as well as the direction of Notre Dame Athletics Communications Director, Sydney Sims, coincide with the football staff to create a bit of magic in digital form.
As we have learned in the past, “Pot of Gold Day” is a time when Notre Dame extends offers out to prospects. In the past it was in the form of a big ass piece of mail with all sorts of stuff in it — but this is 2021. Almost everyone is living their best life on social media (this is a sarcastic joke so don’t @ me) and not only does a social media push get that one prospect’s attention — it gets everyone’s attention.
On Wednesday, Notre Dame extended offers to dozens and dozens of 2023 prospects. As of right now, the 2023 class holds 58 offers which is incredibly high for Notre Dame — or at least for old Notre Dame. This new Notre Dame is making sure that the offers are getting out as quickly and with as much power as possible, because this early action can make a lot of difference on the recruiting trail as we have found out over the years.
It was offers like this one that were the root reason for the entire day:
That Pot of Gold graphic was everywhere on Wednesday as the Irish saturated the market with offers and tweets. Notre Dame even offered future 5-Star quarterback Arch Manning and the #1 running back in the 2023 class. To be perfectly honest, I don’t get excited about singular offers this early in the cycle — especially with players that are almost certain to end up elsewhere. Manning, for example, is SEC royalty with the Dukedoms of Tennessee and Ole Miss on his family crest — I don’t really believe Notre Dame has much of a shot there. Still... the offer is significant, and more importantly, the process they went about everything on Wednesday is crucial to stay on the path of being a top 5 recruiting program.
All of the business of recruiting is definitely important, and the day was filled to the brim with that type of work — but it also had plenty of fun moments for recruits and fans to enjoy — and oh my god we did enjoy it greatly.
Brian Kelly’s twitter feed kicked it off with this spectacular montage of the Irish coaches dancing, and Mike Elston did not disappoint in the least with his tremendous I’M THE COOL DAD energy.
Of course, the leader himself had yet to show off his dance moves, and after being called out by Shaun Crawford — BK Homeboy reappeared on the scene.
There’s also video of the staff singing HAPPY BIRTHDAY. The serenade was for 2021 running back commit Logan Diggs — but 2022 LB commits Nolan Ziegler and Joshua Burnham also have St. Patrick’s Day as the day their life began.
It was a pretty incredible day.
With all of the restrictions the COVID-19 has forced upon the college football world, Notre Dame showed that there are ways to really make a splash with recruiting — even without the normal official visits and junior days.
For years we have asked for more from Notre Dame when it comes to recruiting, and this kind of even shows that the Irish are working towards setting a new standard on how they go about their business. The fact that we could all see the incredible combined effort from everyone involved with the football program as they pulled off perhaps the biggest virtual recruiting event on program history — well it only made it even more impactful and effective.
There’s no going back now.