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Irish land coveted RB recruit Greg Bryant

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 “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.

  1. tonyricemajorharris - Dec 9, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    Congrats Greg. You will be attending one of finest academic institutions in the world. Get that degree…

  2. elwaysmilehighdenver - Dec 9, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    Keith you never mentioned where Bryant is from.

    • bernhtp - Dec 9, 2012 at 4:49 PM

      Delray Beach, FL

  3. audiguy - Dec 9, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    Great addition. Don’t forget we still have Carlyle and GA3. Does anyone know why woods wouldn’t stay? He will be a middle rounder at this point

    • heisenbyrg - Dec 9, 2012 at 3:36 PM

      He has his degree and can make a lot of money in the NFL.

    • cameronemclaughlin - Dec 9, 2012 at 5:04 PM

      GA3 is fast, but appears to lack agility and the ability to break tackles. He’s great if you can find a way to get him the ball outsides, but nobody I’d want running between the tackles.

      • dickasman - Dec 9, 2012 at 11:06 PM

        They need to move him to safety

      • 808raiderinparadise - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:44 PM

        Interesting prospect for the years ahead. ELITE speed … but he is an upright runner, serves 0 value inbetween the tackles and defenses know his touches will only come in space.

        Maybe if he gets in the weight room he can be more like a Darren McFadden build and have some success, but until then he will be a KO return man and used on sweeps, reverses and mis-directions. Tony Alford and Kelly have to decide what to do with him.

        What makes Riddick such a model for success is his versatility, and Kelly will look to play the guys that can do it all much like Riddick.

  4. aceinthehole12 - Dec 9, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    The ’13 and ’14 classes are shaping up nicely ! Amazing what a perfect season/national title trip can do for your school !

    Let’s go Irish !

  5. tonyricemajorharris - Dec 9, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    Woods would leave because of $$$$. Why risk injury or a sub-par year in 2013? See Matt Barkley. On the other hand, you have a guy like Luck. Until somebody can predict the future, this gamble will be made one way or another every year by college athletes

    • paiten34 - Dec 9, 2012 at 11:24 PM

      Wood is most likely leaving not for the money but more so because for the second straight year he has be surpassed by another RB. The last two seasons wood entered as the top running back option only to see his carries drop as the year went on.

      I think Wood has realized that he has gone as far as he can at ND.

  6. yllibnosredna - Dec 9, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    I’m not trying to be a dick here but c’mon guys, it’s Cierre Wood not Woods. As far as numbers go, we have just swapped Bryant for Mattingly (wonderful trade-off by the way). All things being equal, we appear to be in excellent shape and poised to add Muhammad and Redfield on NSD. Wood is probably gone. And J. James seems likely to slip out of the fold. Assuming Watt and Martin stay, how many other recruits can and would we take?

    • bernhtp - Dec 9, 2012 at 3:35 PM

      The Mattingly-for-Bryant trade moved our Rivals ranking from #4 to #2.

  7. bernhtp - Dec 9, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    We’re going to have a lot of depth at RB. As with Theo, I suspect the one that wins the majority of the snaps will be the one that can demonstrate the ability to catch passes. Thus far, this is not something that GA3 has shown. Carlisle and Mahone are unknowns here as is Bryant and James.

    In terms of recruiting rankings, Bryant (Rivals #2 RB) and Carlisle (Rivals #4 RB) are judged with the most potential coming in. It’s unclear where Carlisle stands given his proclivity to repeated injury – has he used the time in the weight room to get strong, better, more skilled, and more robust, or has he faded? Kelly has said some great things about him, but we don’t know. Haven’t heard much about Mahone. GA3 needs to learn to read the right hole, plant his foot, and run hard north. They all need to learn to block, run routes, and catch passes. It will be an interesting competition.

    Now onto Treadwell. This class will be awesome.

    • heisenbyrg - Dec 9, 2012 at 3:44 PM

      I’m increasingly skeptical that GA3 can put it all together as a running back. Doesn’t seem to have a great feel for the position and isn’t too shifty. I understand the allure of that speed, and I trust BK and staff to coach ’em up, but he may be destined to be a special teams star.

      I briefly looked at Bryant’s highlight film and he makes some pretty incredible, athletic catches down the field. It’ll be interesting to see how things shake out with Carlisle, Cam, GA3, Bryant, and Mahone, but I’d be shocked if Bryant doesn’t get a lot of carries next year. From what I read, he looks physically ready to play college football.

      • mikemcmack - Dec 9, 2012 at 4:10 PM

        I viewed the whole 20+ minutes of Bryant’s main highlight film. He runs straight north between the tackles, side-shifts on a dime, shrugs off and fights off hits like Earl Campbell in his prime, uses his blockers like a grandmaster chess guy….
        But it didn’t seem to me that he had elite speed.
        Then I read that he goes 40 in 4.46.
        He’s only 17 or 18, and it was “only” a highlight film. But DAMN!!!
        Welcome to The Bend, young hombre!

      • bernhtp - Dec 9, 2012 at 4:47 PM

        Elite speed is nice to occasionally make a 10 yard gain into a 40, but the hole reading/timing, quickness, lateral acceleration, and strength are more important. Theo doesn’t have elite speed either.

      • nudeman - Dec 9, 2012 at 6:38 PM

        I think you CAN forget James

        Even if he hadn’t been a dick (“If they think their program is so great …:” crap) and a 3 star dick at that, from a numbers standpoint he’s got to be out.

      • bernhtp - Dec 9, 2012 at 7:04 PM

        Nude: James was always an odd recruit. Lots of talent but questionable work ethic. His out-of-the-blue commitment before a visit was strange, and his comments since immature, at best.

        I agree. With the Bryant commitment, James likely becomes a numbers casualty. He gets dropped like a hot potato, especially if we get love from Redfield, Treadwell, Alexander, Muhammad, Willis, etc.

      • nudeman - Dec 9, 2012 at 8:46 PM

        Treadwell is gone. Dropped ND and Ol’ Miss leads
        Probability: <1% (at best)
        Redfield was at USC this wknd and supposedly has warmed back up to them. BK still has an in home left with him
        Probability: 51%
        AQM seems to have not wavered at all
        Probability: 90%
        Willis & Alexander, total long shots barring some unforeseen development
        Probability: 10%
        Only other possible surprise now is Folston, believe it or not.some say it still cud happen but you have to wonder if Bryant's commitment wud hurt that
        Probability: 20%

      • dickasman - Dec 9, 2012 at 11:08 PM

        I firmly believe that coach Kelly will listen to coach Asman and move him to DB.

      • domer77blowsgoats - Dec 10, 2012 at 7:51 AM

        Now this is more like it. Forget the NC and Heismann! Back to name calling 17 year olds. So refreshing, been way too long of a season.

        100% chance Nude voted for Obama. No way someone has this much free time and doesn’t reap govt entitlements
        100% chance that AZ gym memberships plummet during recruiting season to avoid ND recruiting chat in the shower
        100% chance Nude feels more like a man after calling a kid a “3 star dick”

      • nudeman - Dec 10, 2012 at 10:16 AM

        I am sorry you don’t like WHAT I post, WHEN I post, WHERE I post
        It’s your right, and you’re more than entitled to your opinions
        You do seem to put a lot of energy into tracking me and making sure you don’t miss an oppty to give a thumbs down and take a personal shot
        That’s also your right, but it seems petulant and immature

      • ndgoldandblue - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:22 PM

        Geez, goat. Let’s keep the political rhetoric out of this blog. Besides, by attacking nude’s (possible) voting preference, you’re going to piss off a lot more people than nude, like half of the posters on this blog.

  8. dudeacow - Dec 9, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Well, so much for that post I made about a week ago saying he was not likely coming here and he wanted to stay in the South. Obviously I know nothing. Also, I think he was committed to OU once. Am I wrong?

    • papadec - Dec 9, 2012 at 7:47 PM

      dude – he was committed to Oklahoma earlier in the year – re-opened his commitment during the Summer.

  9. seanb20124 - Dec 9, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    Wood has a child, and draft status likely would not get higher sharing the ball next year in a stable full of backs . Mahone, Carlisle, GA3, and Bryant

    • bernhtp - Dec 9, 2012 at 6:28 PM

      Let’s not forget Cam McDaniel, Davonte Neal and (maybe) Jamel James.

      • ndgoldandblue - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:25 PM

        Neal’s a slot receiver, right? I know that slot receivers get cross-trained as running backs, but Theo’s the only guy that’s ever done both regularly. By the way, I remember hearing that he was an elite recruit coming out of high school. How come we haven’t used him more than in just fair-catch situations?

      • dmac4real - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:52 PM


        Not sure to your last question. Apparently it might have something to do with his ability to block as a slot. Should still by dynamic next year.

  10. compton1 - Dec 9, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    reminds me of Greg Jones that played at Florida state

  11. irishdodger - Dec 9, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    Wood will leave but I’d be surprised if he goes higher than the third round. He does not like to take hits as seen early on in the SC game,

    Carlisle needs to prove he can stay healthy. Reports are he’ll be ready for spring, but I have my doubts. Don’t give up on GAIII yet…he’s only a sophomore.

    Bryant is a great get…I want Folston, too.

  12. papadec - Dec 9, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    As we have clearly seen this past week – one (recruiting) door closes, another opens. GO IRISH!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. cpfirish - Dec 9, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    Wow! I am loving the outcome of the 2013 class! As much as I like GA3 I don’t think he is a every down back. He does not see the field well. Returning kicks and possible punts is where he belongs. I see Greg coming in right away and playing in 2013.
    Go Irish!

    • runners00 - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:14 PM

      It’s a process. GA3 is learning the game — its speed, it’s intensity and the like. I think he could be an every-down-back, but man, there is some serious competition around here. I mean, Carlisle, McDaniel, Mahone, Atkinson. There are a lot of horses in the stable. But Atkinson could be a big-time back. To do so, though, he needs more reps.

  14. harvupdyke - Dec 9, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    See if he changes his mind after January the 7th.

    Roll dam tide.

    • nudeman - Dec 9, 2012 at 9:36 PM

      You guys seem weird even in writing

      Harvey? Nice name
      Jesus … why don’t y’all go back to your sweet tea and grits

      • bernhtp - Dec 9, 2012 at 10:25 PM

        Catholics vs. Cousins.

        When Manti talks of his football family, he means it only metaphorically.

      • papadec - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:30 AM

        nude – be nice to the trolls – they’re good for laughs.

    • bogtrottin - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:08 AM

      what kind of person takes the name of that crazy man who killed the auburn tree as his handle? that’s some poor taste there, mr. troll.

      also in poor taste, yet delightfully funny, is the catholics vs. cousins bit i spied down below. ha ha.

      • bernhtp - Dec 10, 2012 at 9:57 AM

        What makes you think that he took this name as opposed to being given the name by his mother, or that his brother doesn’t have the same name? Don’t be so judgmental.

    • runners00 - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:17 PM

      This is funny — “roll dam tide..” I don’t know why I find it so funny. Perhaps it’s because after twenty years or so, we’re finally under someone’s skin. It feels good — like we can chuckle at an Alabama fan’s comment after losing a big-time recruit to the beloved Irish. We’ve been a doormat for so long that finally being able to make someone — an Alabama fan — pissed is great. Thanks. Made my Monday.

    • ndgoldandblue - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:31 PM

      Hey, are you the guy that poisoned the oak trees at Auburn? I saw the 30 for 30 special on Alabama and Auburn, and he always says “roll damn tide” whenever he calls Paul Finebaum’s radio show. How are you liking prison life?

    • ndfaithful - Dec 10, 2012 at 9:21 PM

      Roll Tide Roll!
      ‘Round the Bowl,
      Down the Hole!
      Roll Tide Roll!

    • 1notredame1 - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:45 PM

      Did you mean to type “Roll damn tide”? I don’t know if you folks are aware that a “dam” holds back water, while a “damn” means damnation. Actually, forgive me, I believe you did mean to type “dam” – something that holds back water, such as a “tide”.

  15. jerseyshorendfan1 - Dec 10, 2012 at 1:26 AM

    Wow, Manti wins the Lott Impact Award and Bryant commits all in the same day. This just keeps getting better and better. Having been a fan for nearly forty years now, I was starting to have my doubts as to whether this program would ever return to glory, whether I’d ever see another NC in my lifetime. I wasn’t getting any younger while we racked up a 3-9 season and went through coaches like clean underwear. Well, the doubts are gone. Destiny has arrived. We win on Jan 7th. We win this game. We are back. We win. We do it right. We graduate. We succeed. Did anybody see Manti’s acceptance speech for the Lott trophy? It was moving the way he spoke about family, Coach Kelly, his brothers (not teammates) at ND and his faith. He told a story about his Dad which occurred when Manti was a young boy. They were riding in their car at an intersection and Manti saw a homeless guy with a sign begging for a handout. He asked his Dad what he thought about this person and his father said (I’m paraphrasing here) that people like that exist to make people like us figure out how we can help them. That really kind of blew my mind. It takes the focus off of the beggar and puts it squarely on each of us. Instead of reacting to someone begging and throwing a dollar out of the car window, how can I be proactive, how can I do more for those that need a helping hand? I mean, this is like some serious Mother Teresa like philosophy being imparted here and I immediately felt inadequate as a father for never having bestowed such profound wisdom on any of my children. Anyway, time to put it into practice….we all know someone who could use some help this holiday season. Let’s all follow the lead of Manti’s big ole Hawaiian papa and figure out how we can help someone in need. I know that’s what I’m going to do. God bless and Merry Christmas!

    • papadec - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:57 AM

      joisey – great post – thanks! Reminds me that our kids watch & learn from us. When I was in the Corps, some of us started something of a tradition. Some of us drove to my home in NYC the Christmas of ’68. One of the guys was getting out shortly after the New Year, so we took his USMC overcoat & put $5 in one pocket & an 8 oz bottle of peach brandy in the other & drove to the Bowery on Christmas eve to find a homeless person. Great idea at the time – but do you know how hard it is to find a homeless person @ 11:00 pm on Christmas Eve? We did find a guy, but he freaked out thinking we were going to harm him. He finally took the coat, and his face lit up when he stuck his hands in the pockets. After that, the guys that were getting out would give me their overcoats to deliver to the Bowery, the following Christmas. I got out in ’70, and that ended. But, when I moved to the Seattle area, and had kids, I started taking my kids down to the Pioneer Square area & The Union Gospel Mission (during lunch time) and had them hand out pairs of woolen socks with a few dollars rolled up inside the socks. After the first two years, the guys would start yelling “the sock guy is here, the sock guy is here”. When my kids became teenagers they were involved in making sandwiches, with their church youth group & delivering them to homeless people in that same Pioneer Square area. So what doesn’t seem like much, at the time, does have an impact on our kids & how they treat people when they get older.

  16. fnc111 - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    ND needs a DTackle in this class in the worst way. I really don’t follow recruiting anymore but with Nix most likely going pro I will be following to see if CBK can get a DT.

    • onebigloadofcrap - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:29 PM

      I have not seen a single story or even a quote from even a remotely reliable source that says “Nix is most likely going pro”.

      Where’d that come from?

      • dmac4real - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:53 PM

        He applied for his draft grade. Meaning he just wants information and would mull it over.

      • nudeman - Dec 10, 2012 at 4:25 PM

        Most of them apply after the 3rd yr. Floyd did; so did Manti.
        I won’t say it’s meaningless, because there’s always the chance that if Nix got a high 1st round grade maybe he’d jump
        But most reports are that his degree is very meaningful and he’s about one offseason conditioning program from really becoming an amazing beast.
        Highly unlikely he leaves

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