There have been a number of notable news items concerning Notre Dame Football over the last few days, so let’s get caught up now that I am just slaying the Little League fields (the reason for the delay).
The Irish currently have the #4 ranked 2024 recruiting class in the country according to the 247 Team Composite rankings. They will be hoping for another bump up today when 4-Star EDGE Loghan Thomas announces his commitment around suppertime.
#Top247 four-star edge-rusher Loghan Thomas is set to make his commitment.— Tom Loy (@TomLoy247) May 23, 2023
That will occur at 5:45 pm ET on Wednesday, May 23.
Story: https://t.co/AZNUOFqgu1@LoghanThomas1@247Sports pic.twitter.com/uELVlXhVzG
Notre Dame is the favorite to land Thomas’s commitment and would be the third-highest-ranked player in the class behind Cam Williams and CJ Carr.
The inevitable happened when Prince Kollie announced his school of choice to transfer to, and that school is back in his home state of Tennessee. Kollie will reunite with Clark Lea and Nick Lezynski, and play linebacker for the Vanderbilt Commodores.
“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps”— Prince Kollie (@p_kollie_21) May 22, 2023
Blessed and Excited to start this new journey. ⚓️ pic.twitter.com/Krh1JsplaC
SHIPPING UP TO DUBLIN
Notre Dame is pretty excited about their return trip to Ireland as they kick off the 2023 season against the Navy Midshipmen in Dublin. Apparently, fans are excited too.
From the Notre Dame press release:
Aer Lingus College Football Classic Officially Sold Out
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The 2023 Aer Lingus College Football Classic featuring Notre Dame and Navy on August 26, 2023, at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, has officially sold out. Over 40,000 international fans are expected to make the trip for the event, including over 39,000 fans directly from the United States which represents a new world record for the largest number of Americans to travel internationally for a single sporting event.
The game between the Fighting Irish and Midshipmen will be the third meeting between the two historical college football teams in Ireland. The first was held November 2, 1996, at Croke Park in Dublin, a 52-27 Notre Dame victory. The most recent was September 1, 2012, when the Irish defeated the Midshipmen 50-10 at Aviva Stadium. The 2023 meeting will be the first Notre Dame home game played in Ireland, as the previous two meetings were Navy home game designations in the series.
The 2023 College Football Classic has been valued in an independent report from Fáilte Ireland and Grant Thornton to be worth in excess of €147 million to the Irish economy. Based on previous college football events held in Ireland, data indicates that American visitors for the game will stay an average of seven nights in Ireland and visit three different destinations. The most popular of those destinations include Dublin, Galway, Belfast, Killarney and Cork.
“The Aer Lingus College Football Classic Series is a really important event for the tourism and hospitality sector in Dublin and all across the island and I am pleased to support the series via funding from Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland,” said Minister for Tourism, Catherin Martin T.D.
“The game in August will also provide opportunities for business, education and other sectoral exchanges between Ireland and US and will further strengthen the cultural, sporting and affinity links between our two countries.”
“The demand for tickets for the 2023 Aer Lingus College Football Classic proves that Ireland is the home of College Football outside of the United States,” said Padriac O’Kane, the Co-Founder and Director of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic.
“This year’s event in Dublin will see the largest movement of Americans into Europe in peace time with the game set to provide a huge boost to the Irish economy and hospitality sector.”
The game will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. Dublin time on August 26th, with additional events such as pep rallies, pregame tailgate parties, medical summits, business networking opportunities and academic events planned in and around Dublin. The details will be announced in the lead up to the game.
The game will be televised live on NBC and Peacock in the United States while Sky Sports will also broadcast the game live to Irish and United Kingdom audiences.
The official game week app will go live at the start of July when the full official events program will be released. The app will be pushed out to all ticket holders, including the 40,354 international fans with a focus on recommendations for destinations, attractions, restaurants and bars across Dublin and Ireland. Businesses that want to leverage commercial opportunities on the game app can visit, www.collegefootballireland.com for more information.
TOUGH ROAD AHEAD
We already know that Notre Dame has a tough schedule in 2023 thanks to the “big three” games against the USC Trojans, Ohio State Buckeyes, and Clemson Tigers, but from top to bottom, the Irish path is more than respectable with the ESPN Power Index ranking it as the 19th hardest in the country.