Without question, the style and stakes for Notre Dame Football recruiting have gone up considerably ever since Marcus Freeman took over the Fighting Irish head coaching position from Brian Kelly back in December. What was sold for over a decade with; shopping down a different aisle, traits, RKG’s, and whatever else Kelly tried to push — Freeman just isn’t having it anymore.
The cry from the Irish faithful for Notre Dame to go harder after elite 5-Star talent over the years has been loud — and mostly falling on deaf ears. Marcus Freeman is changing that in South Bend, and along with Chad Bowden, the recruiting game has a different vibe, with a different path, and a different endgame.
Take the recruitment of 5-Star running back Richard Young for example. While the Irish never seemed to be a player in his recruitment before just a month ago with the Alabama Crimson Tide, Georgia Bulldogs, and Oklahoma Sooners seemingly near the top — he decided to use one of his official visits to check out Notre Dame and what opportunities there are for him up there.
Young’s visit is a win in itself, but seeing him roll away inside a Ferrari with Marcus Freeman — well that just hits completely different. What Notre Dame Football program is this? I suppose in the world of NIL, we should come to expect more and more flash, but the entire imagery of the head coach driving away with a 5-Star running back in a luxury sports car like a Ferrari... well that just wasn’t on my 2022 BINGO card.
Obviously, this isn’t something that is going to be a deciding factor in the recruitment of a player, but it’s certainly one of many upgrades in style and substance with Notre Dame recruiting that we have seen since the arrival of Freeman and Bowden back in the winter of 2021.
It’s a different vibe in South Bend, and if the Irish can put it together on the field in 2022 and 2023, we should expect this program to truly hang with the elites of the college football world for at least the next half-decade or so.
It’s just nice to see, and something I didn’t expect just a few years ago.