Feb 4, 2013, 4:21 PM EDT
With less than 48 hours until Signing Day, there’s little more any coaching staff can do. With a recruiting dead period upon us, coaches will return to campus around the country and wait for the fax machine. Sure, there’ll be last minute phone calls and texts, but the majority of work has been completed. It’s now down to a waiting game.
For the Notre Dame coaching staff, Wednesday will be the celebration of a recruiting class that’s the best of the modern recruiting era. With a group high on star power as well as positional needs, Brian Kelly and his coaching staff continue to show the ability to find players that fit the mold they have created. They also show in this recruiting class the ability to be flexible, bringing elite athletes onto campus with multi-positional versatility. That’s easy when you find and identify a blue-chip, five-star talent like Jaylon Smith. But it’s also on display with below-the-radar defensive back Rashad Kinlaw, a high school quarterback that’s battled injuries the last two seasons.
Over the next three days, the focus will be almost entirely on the 2013 recruiting class. We’ll be live-blogging from campus starting at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, keeping you up-to-date in real time on the recruiting class as the faxes come in. We’ll also be joining the official UND.com broadcast to discuss the impact of this recruiting class. So if you’re looking forward to seeing a sleep-deprived writer three time zones away from his home base, you are in luck.
Last year, Notre Dame was on the wrong side of a few Signing Day surprises, drawing the short end of the stick on two blue-chip prospects that had Irish fans flinching for fear that the sky was falling. But even without Deontay Greenberry and Brian Poole, things seemed to work out okay for the team in 2012. (Some context, Poole — a five-star cornerback, made three tackles for Florida this season. Greenberry caught three touchdowns for Houston.) Wednesday, they’ll be in the running to spring their own surprises, with a small handful of recruits still considering the Irish, including big fish like Eddie Vanderdoes, Ty Isaac, and Kylie Fitts.
Wednesday will feel like Christmas morning for a lot of die hard college football fans out there. But here’s a friendly reminder that’ll likely go ignored in the heat of the moment: Just because you’ve known about some of the presents beneath the tree for ten months, it doesn’t make them any less valuable than the surprises that may roll in that morning.
So buckle up for a fun few days. If only because it’s the triumphant return of the fax machine, forcing its way out of irrelevancy for a few short hours each February.
Sep 4, 2015, 2:16 AM EDT
For all the grand plans on the horizon for Notre Dame’s most promising football team in a decade, none of them can materialize if Saturday goes haywire. So while the Fighting Irish have a team filled with depth, experience and talented playmakers as Texas is mid-renovation in Charlie Strong’s second season, all the magazine covers and preseason All-Americans in the world won’t help once the Irish kickoff at 7:42 on Saturday evening.
Sep 3, 2015, 6:55 PM EDT
The pieces are in place for Notre Dame’s secondary to be great. Led by returning cornerback KeiVarae Russell and armed with depth at every starting position, first-year position coach Todd Lyght has considerable talent to work with.
Sep 2, 2015, 4:53 PM EDT
When Everett Golson pulled the chute and headed south to Tallahassee, Notre Dame’s quarterback competition quickly cleared up. This is Malik Zaire’s football team.
Sep 2, 2015, 3:27 PM EDT
So who’s calling the plays? That was one of the main questions still unanswered heading into the season’s opening game, and when head coach Brian Kelly was asked about it, he was staying mum.
Sep 2, 2015, 9:30 AM EDT
Game week is finally here. After nearly nine months—spent wondering about transfers, speculating upon returns and predicting what’ll happen come September—we finally get to see a football game.
Sep 1, 2015, 2:23 PM EDT
With a strong recruiting surge, some roster shuffling and some good luck (and hard work) in the health department, Notre Dame’s linebacking corps was rebuilt remarkably quickly. A season after question marks were everywhere, the Irish have a linebacking group that is among the fastest and most athletic we’ve seen in a very long time.
Sep 1, 2015, 12:56 PM EDT
Brian Kelly released his first official depth chart on Tuesday. Let’s take a look at some of moves and surprises heading into the Texas game.
Aug 31, 2015, 4:12 PM EDT
Notre Dame’s wide receiving depth chart features talent at just about every level. Starting with All-American candidate and sophomore record-setter Will Fuller and working down to freshmen like Equanimeous St. Brown and C.J. Sanders, top to bottom this is the most exciting set of playmakers the Irish have had at the position in, maybe—ever?
Aug 31, 2015, 11:37 AM EDT
Let’s get the rest of the mailbag finished off so we can concentrate on game week. (Feels really good to type that sentence.) Thanks again for some great questions.
Aug 30, 2015, 3:34 PM EDT
There are a ton of good questions to get to so this will roll out in multiple parts. Many thanks for the thoughtful work. (And some nice examples of brevity.)
Aug 29, 2015, 3:19 PM EDT
After a long line of starters with plenty of experience, Notre Dame’s tight ends all but start over in 2015. Scott Booker’s position group comes in with all sorts of intriguing traits. Unfortunately, none of those are experience.
Aug 28, 2015, 2:50 PM EDT
Brian Kelly was on the Dan Patrick Show this morning and the Irish head coach got his last weekend without a game started by chatting it up with the popular radio host. While Kelly didn’t make any headlines in the interview, he did conduct it from his desk with a Showtime crew hanging a boom mic over his head, part of life with a documentary film crew following him around.
Aug 28, 2015, 1:04 PM EDT
Just about everybody expects Harry Hiestand’s offensive line to be a dominant unit. But after months of preseason hype, they now need to prove they can do it.
Aug 27, 2015, 8:48 PM EDT
Ishaq Williams’ college football career is over. Notre Dame’s exiled defensive end, who sat out last season as part of a two-semester suspension for his role in the “frozen five” academic dishonesty investigation, has lost his NCAA appeal for reinstatement. Brian Kelly shared the news on Thursday after practice
Aug 27, 2015, 8:25 PM EDT
The votes are in and Notre Dame’s football team will be captained by five players. Graduate students Matthias Farley, Nick Martin and Joe Schmidt will be joined by senior Sheldon Day and junior Jaylon Smith as the captains of the 2015 Irish.
Aug 27, 2015, 12:34 PM EDT
It appears that the Greg Bryant era at Notre Dame is over. The junior running back, who was declared academically ineligible to play for the Irish this fall, has enrolled at ASA Miami, a junior college with a new football program run by former Irish assistant Ernest Jones.
Aug 27, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT
After two seasons of trying to find carries for a handful of emerging running backs, Notre Dame has the opposite problem: Trying to spread out a growing workload among a smaller, highly-differentiated position group.
Aug 26, 2015, 1:56 PM EDT
With the season right around the corner and preseason camp finished, it’s time to get our final preparations done before the games start counting and the journey begins. We spent the summer pumping out tens of thousands of words on Notre Dame’s evolving roster, so if you’re looking for 50 hours of easy reading, check out the Irish A-to-Z series.
Aug 26, 2015, 12:42 PM EDT
Have a final question before we have actual football to talk about? Today’s the day. Drop them below or on Twitter @KeithArnold.
Aug 25, 2015, 5:06 PM EDT
Notre Dame announced a number of enhancements to Notre Dame Stadium on Tuesday. Most notable among them, a video board that’ll go atop the south end zone.