Dec 9, 2012, 2:02 PM EDT
If you are looking for proof that Notre Dame’s resurgent season is helping with recruiting, look no further than running back Greg Bryant. The five-star, blue-chip running back, viewed by Rivals as the second best running back in the ’13 class and one of the top 20 players in the country, committed to Notre Dame this weekend, wrapping up a whirlwind recruitment that finds Notre Dame landing one of the best players in the country at one of its biggest positions of need.
On paper, landing Bryant shouldn’t be that surprising. He had built a tremendous relationship with his recruiter, Tony Alford. His father was a huge fan of the Irish, openly acknowledging the power of a Notre Dame degree, and citing talking points like graduation rates.
Yet Notre Dame saw a similar situation last year with one of South Florida’s elite prospects, Nelson Agholor. On paper, Agholor was a recruit that seemed destined for the Irish, but even with a strong relationship with Alford, Agholor decided to head to Southern Cal, his belief in the trajectory of the program as much of a factor as anything else.
In Bryant, the Irish are reaping the rewards of being one of college football’s best teams on the field, a remarkable addition to the usual benefits that are already associated with Notre Dame. Taking his official visit this weekend, Bryant was in attendance for the football program’s annual awards show, one of the strongest selling points you could show a prospect. And with nearly a dozen of his future classmates in attendance, Bryant gave the Irish his commitment.
“I came up here this weekend and liked everything I saw,” Bryant exclusively told BlueandGold.com. “I’d be a fool not to take advantage of this great opportunity. Coach Alford kept it real with me the whole time and all of that came together.”
It’s hard to find an offer list more impressive than Bryant’s, with Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma, USC, Georgia, and all the major Florida schools offering Bryant a scholarship. As a physically developed runner with a nice blend of power and speed, Bryant will immediately insert himself into a running back depth chart that could have a ton of uncertainty with Cierre Wood likely heading to the NFL along with Theo Riddick.
Bryant’s commitment gives the Irish one running back for sure in their recruiting class. Texas bruiser Jamel James is still technically a commitment, but he’s entertaining other offers and reportedly has a little bit left to do on the academic side of things, too.
After seeing much of his success come on the defensive side of the ball, Brian Kelly is starting to make some moves with offensive recruits. With a commitment to “players, not plays,” Kelly has added a key piece of personnel in Bryant.
Just another one of the perks that come with being the No. 1 team in the country.