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Irish recruiting class a product of banner season

Feb 6, 2013, 3:17 PM EDT

Brian Kelly 2013 signing day

For a coach that quipped he could sell Avon, it’s no surprise that Brian Kelly could sell 12-1. Even with that one loss being a resounding thud in the national title game, Notre Dame’s head coach was all smiles when discussing his 2013 recruiting class, even if there were storylines swirling throughout his noon press conference.

First lets dispose of the obvious. With two recruits still on the board when Kelly took to the podium, the head coach nimbly worked around a clerical mistake that listed five-star prospect Eddie Vanderdoes among those signing with the Irish. An honest mistake caused a tidal wave across social media, and one that the coach and his assistants likely took to the phones to fix with the massive defensive tackle. While Vanderdoes will announce his intent at 8 p.m. EST, that wasn’t the only burner left lit, as running back Tarean Folston surprisingly held his decision off until the afternoon, forcing the Irish only to anounce five-star running back Greg Bryant’s signing, a prospect touted enough to fulfill any need most years.

But this wasn’t most years. This 2013 recruiting class is the best Notre Dame has signed in the modern era, doing a perfect job of filling needs and finding elite players that will now be a part of a football team not rebuilding or maintaining, but suddenly thrust into the national conversation.

“It’s a recruiting class that, when you’re looking at it from my perspective, it meets the time and place as to where we are right now,” Kelly said. “We’re a team that has gone from unranked to top ten ranking, top five ranking, at times we’re the No. 1 team in the country. And I think your class reflects that as you move forward.”

If you missed the first twenty-three posts of the last 24 hours, you might do yourself well by looking back at the class broken down individually. But viewing the group through a wide lens, one key factor sticks out.

First, Kelly and his staff targeted winners. Defensive coordinator Bob Diaco made some headlines a few months ago when he talked about his general disdain for players that play for losing programs, but that showed true in the final product of this class. The majority of this group played on excellent football teams, with several state championships and postseason appearances aggregated.

“We really were looking for winners,” Kelly said today. “I think the winning percentage of this group, we did some number crunched some numbers, is like 74 percent winning percentage. These kids come from winning programs. They’ve won state championships. They represent winners as it relates to the kind of players we wanted.”

There are two more victories yet to be earned today, with Folston and Vanderdoes still up for grabs. But regardless of what happens in the next few hours, Kelly has built a class that mirrors the success of the 2012 season.

Not too shabby.

  1. 808raiderinparadise - Feb 6, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    Folston official !

    I wonder about EV … I think meeting NIX and Tuitt really made a big impression on him, as they both will be 1st rounders in the NFL.

  2. kiopta1 - Feb 6, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Great class and I feel pretty good about EV. If he picks ND we will have an elite 5* at every level of the D.

  3. oldestguard - Feb 6, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    I also heard Folston is on board.

    One big fish to go and it’s sounding like it’s a decent possibility.

    Future looking even better !

  4. raidergreg2000 - Feb 6, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    And the Irish will lose again in the National Championship with Kelly as coach.

    • dbldmr - Feb 6, 2013 at 4:14 PM

      …which, of course, means that Notre Dame will have gotten to the National Championship game, something only two of the FBS teams can accomplish.

    • tedlinko - Feb 6, 2013 at 4:31 PM

      And you really have nothing better to do with your afternoon than troll on an ND blog? That says far more about you than about ND.

    • jimbasil - Feb 6, 2013 at 5:43 PM

      Possible; BSU has a pretty good coach there too. Kelly will have his work cut out for him in next years NC game.

  5. chicagoirish23 - Feb 6, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Keith – Rumors are that EV actually did send in his LOI to Notre Dame but ND promised to not announce so he could have his press conference. Enough noise for this to be true or no?

    • 808raiderinparadise - Feb 6, 2013 at 5:11 PM

      Sounds kind of right … but EV announced on his twitter that he did NOT sign it yet or send it at 9:23am

      and I think he will send it to ND.

      No better way to get worked into a rotation than one with NIX, Tuitt, Shembo, Day … He can come in for snaps and never be doubled or chipped by a RB because teams will HAVE to double NIx and chip Tuitt

  6. yllibnosredna - Feb 6, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    Not sure this “clerical error” on the part of whomever can be simply written off as an innocuous “honest mistake.” Seems this ridiculously stupid bone-headed gaffe rubbed EV the wrong way and it’s completely understandable that he would be upset. I don’t blame him. The kid has been nothing but classy and well-composed during this process and has earned the right to have his moment. How in the hell can someone on the inside make such an asinine mistake as allowing his name to be prematurely released on a press release as an official “signed” recruit when he hasn’t even publicly stated a leader since de-committing from USC?!

    I’m not blaming the coaching staff on this one, but someone needs to be kicking some serious ass and knocking some heads on this one. This kid is a critical and classy recruit with game-changing abilities and one that ND REALLY NEEDS to land if they want to truly compete with the likes of the SEC elite. And considering how close ND appears to be to landing him, he really has become a can’t miss recruit at this stage. Completely inexcusable that someone would make such a big mistake as this.

    • irishpuma - Feb 6, 2013 at 8:04 PM

      I agree but when I wrote it earlier I got nothing but thumbs down. lol.

  7. rambler09 - Feb 6, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    This class is incredible but I’m not convinced that it is “the best Notre Dame has signed in the modern era”. Floyd and Ruldoph’s class was #1 on at least one recruiting site. This one is not #1 on any site (this might change if we land EV).

    I’m not saying the argument can’t be made… but it isn’t so clear.

    Actually, what does it matter… this class is incredible… and will hopefully get even better this evening.

  8. 1notredamefan - Feb 6, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    Check this funny lookin interview out….HAHA!

    • 1notredamefan - Feb 6, 2013 at 6:01 PM

      Well I guess the share button on youtube wants to be funny too…

      • 1notredamefan - Feb 6, 2013 at 6:02 PM

        I give up KA is on

  9. dutch31 - Feb 6, 2013 at 6:06 PM has a WR Derrick Griffin on NDs board as. List him as a 4 star and he is only player with an offer and interest other than EV.

    Anyone know anything about him or NDs chances??

    • jimbasil - Feb 6, 2013 at 6:20 PM


    • papadec - Feb 6, 2013 at 6:41 PM

      dutch – espn has Derrick as their # 33 overall, a TE, 6’6″ 228# committed to TA&M on 1/6/12 – BUT, not signed as of a few minutes ago. Like Jim says, below – interesting – would be a very interesting flip @ 6’6″.

      • papadec - Feb 6, 2013 at 6:42 PM

        dutch as Jim says above.

      • notredameirish1980 - Feb 6, 2013 at 7:42 PM

        Griffin is subject of an ESPN article. He has not signed with A&M because he can’t qualify academically. Probably not coming to ND.

    • jimbasil - Feb 6, 2013 at 11:32 PM

      We could also ask, where is Priest Willis going to go to school? His Signed letter has not been received by UCLA – per Scout and Rivals at 11:30pm est.

      • papadec - Feb 7, 2013 at 8:59 PM

        jim – Priest LOI still not received on 2/7 @ 5:45 (PT).

        • jimbasil - Feb 8, 2013 at 8:15 AM

          re-read post.

      • jimbasil - Feb 9, 2013 at 10:50 AM

        Oops padadec- meant on another reply. Thanks, I see he still hasn’t sent it in. Some family issues is the reason. Not sure what that means exactly.

  10. smurphdoggy29 - Feb 6, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    Hello Team !

    Been a while since last I poked around here, great laugh Thanks to some of the Haters I saw still trolling about, and I always appreciate the passion from the faithful !

    What a great start to 2013 huh ? Good looking group !

    BUT HEY take a second to step back or leap back to early 2010 or even before and kind of review what we were experiencing back then, proceed to froth it up a bit, then go back over what has happened since the kickoff in Dublin 2012.

    This will help put it in perspective. 2013 gonna be a great year !!

    GO Irish !
    Keep striving !
    Remember (even the upperclassman) they’re still kids !
    It IS a sport !
    Remember always those who have gone on to the great role call in the sky !
    GOD Bless !

    • dickasman - Feb 6, 2013 at 10:02 PM

      I <3 doggy style!!!

  11. irishpuma - Feb 6, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    ND nation holds its breath and hopes for the last 5 star to enter the family–eddie-vanderdoes.htm

  12. irishpuma - Feb 6, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    EV 4 in da house

  13. yllibnosredna - Feb 6, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    It’s a done deal! Eddie Vanderdoes will be playing for Notre Dame!! Unbelievable job by this staff!! A+–Dynamite players all across the board!!

    • dickasman - Feb 6, 2013 at 10:08 PM

      That’s the best signing in this class to me!!! Now let’s double up on the tutors so they can keep playing!

  14. gtizzo - Feb 6, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    Get this little fact:

    ND out recruited the entire Big 12 conference in terms of number of 5 star commits.

    ND-4 Big 12-0

    That shows just how much of a slide the big 12 is on, and just how hot ND is right now.

    • 1historian - Feb 13, 2013 at 10:03 AM

      not to mention that all 3 of the 5-stars were on D.

  15. dutch31 - Feb 6, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    A+M might have a numbers problem. They only signed 34 recruits. Would be a nice 25th recruit.

  16. papadec - Feb 6, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    espn just flashed that BIG Eddie Vanderdoes COMMITTED to ND!!!!!!!!!!! Ohhhhhhh Yeeeaahhhhh!!!!!!!.

  17. fnc111 - Feb 6, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    If Kelly could develop a QB this team would be a lock to go 10-2 next season.

    • dickasman - Feb 6, 2013 at 10:10 PM

      You still on tommy Rees bandwagon? I thought golson did enough especially toward the end.

      • almoose - Feb 7, 2013 at 9:49 AM

        Golson did fine but I would like a larger QB like Alabama who can run and take hits. Golson is fast but too apt to get hurt. O well he does a better job than Tom R and can move the football. I am glad Tom R is available and do give him credit for helping us early in the Season last year. Do look forward to Spring Practice! Go Irish!

    • mayo1010 - Feb 9, 2013 at 10:24 PM

      you and c4evr only 2 that bitch about national coach of the year. no pleasing you. hope you don’t have kids to infect with that negative attitude!

  18. dickasman - Feb 6, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    Look at the shmucks bama had at qb last few years. Keep the OL DL RB and WR strong! You can get away w tommy Rees at qb. Oh and punt return too.

  19. cpfirish - Feb 7, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    Please everyone lets put the TR AH thing to rest! There careers are DONE at ND. It’s all bout EG5 baby!! He will take us back to the title game again this year and win it. And wow what a 2013 class! Un real! Go Irish!!

  20. almoose - Feb 7, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    Great work by Coach Kelly and his Staff! Go Irish!

  21. tsombanj - Feb 7, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Folston looked great as a DB in the Under Armour game. Any word if ND is locking him into a position?

  22. ajw21 - Feb 7, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    Almoose: The qb you described is Hendrix. A bigger qb who can run. Just saying.
    Go Irish!

  23. larrydavid7000 - Feb 7, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    ROLL TIDE.!!!!!

    • papadec - Feb 8, 2013 at 3:42 AM

      Who let the trolls out? Barf-barf-barf. Maybe what happens is that: every time someone flushes the toilets, the trolls surf the tidal waves out from under the bridge.

  24. 1historian - Feb 13, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    Let the trolls out so we can razz them about their stellar student-ATHLETES.

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