[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image source="featured_image" img_size="large"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Notre Dame easily has one of the most difficult slopes to climb when it comes to recruiting college athletes. They are hampered from the beginning because the private school with high academic standards does not deviate from testing scores, GPA, or class requirements for their student-athletes like programs around the country do. Marcus Freeman of course knew this when he took the job. Vanderbilt and Stanford are the most similar in that regard, and it's plain to see how difficult it is to win at both of those places. To the credit of Brian Kelly, he was able to re-establish a winning culture at Notre Dame utilizing their brand, finding their niche in recruiting and development. This has led to a recent resurgence where Notre Dame has made a pair of College Football Playoff appearances, regularly recruited in the top 15. Marcus Freeman has transcended those expectations.
Marcus Freeman has taken the recruiting in South Bend to an otherworldly level immediately. When you check the 247Sports composite, they are number one in the country to this point in the 2023 cycle. Even more impressively Notre Dame has an 11-0 blue chip rate. The blue chip rate is the ratio of four and five-star prospects compared to three stars in a class. Not just any 4 and 5 stars either they have WRs, DBs, and RBs already pledging.
In the past, it has been difficult for the Irish to consistently get players at those positions that were highly touted. Most of Notre Dames' big-time players at those position groups are development guys. It has shown when they have gotten to the College Football Playoff. The Irish are typically very good in the trenches on both sides, have great TE play, and overall good defenses. However, they never have enough firepower on offense, and they routinely have a difficult time matching up with the opponents' top pass catching options.
Notre Dame has arguably the most recognizable brand in the sport and has always been a National power in recruiting. That's why they play a game in California every year, and try to do the same in Florida. Their shamrock series also gives other strategic regions opportunities to host their games. But, what the Irish are currently doing is not just taking scraps but top players in YOUR team's backyard. Like five-star Edge Keon Keely from Tampa, Florida, or elite interior DL four-star Brenan Vernon from Mentor, OH, or Braylon James from Round Rock, TX. All top-100 players nationally Marcus Freeman plucked from your backyard.
When the Notre Dame Fighting Irish get back into the College Football Playoff in the near future, they will be better than in either of their previous appearances. The Irish could be returning to national prominence like they were from the 1940's to the1990's. This is a problem none of the other Blue Bloods would like to see. Marcus Freeman take a bow!