A little bit a go a top recruit, Max Redfield, decommited from USC. Redfield’s decommitment didn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has been following his recruitment. He showed a warning with a visit to another school, but this was an open and shut case at the beginning of the year right? No 2 Athlete in the nation? Comes a stone’s throw away from USC? USC is preseason #1 in some polls and looking to return from their short absence at the top despite scholarship restrictions?
These are the kinds of recruits that USC has had easily in the past. This kind of recruit is what has lead the talking heads to say ND cannot “get top tier athletes” and can’t “recruit nationally” anymore. With his commitment to USC in Mid-July this looked to be another stone for them to cast.
Flash forward to November, with a 10-0 Irish team with a strong close-nit recruiting class. How about the vaunted trojans having 3 losses? After a visit in October from Redfield ending with him being “blown away” by South Bend we suddenly lead for an athlete that only has Washington left on his visit list (as of today he wants to visit Oregon as well).
So what’s your point, a young kid changed his mind to the flavor of the week? My point is that the Irish have been consistently winning these battles as of late. Save a couple of huge decommitments last year and a transfer by some kid from Florida, we have the athletes we aren’t supposed to. I was never a believer in the stigma that we couldn’t recruit anymore, but I did somewhat believe that the defensive gamebreakers had been lacking (outside of Te’o) prior to Kelly. I believe that this is another small shift in the ever changing world of college football that is pointing up for the Irish. We’ve seemingly pulled a recruit from the gates of hell. Whether or not he ends up Irish, he’s not a trojan and unlikely to be.
If we do end up sealing this kid up, the impact on the current recruiting class is huge. It gives us a boost in a position that has been thin. It gives us much more flexibility with our dwindling number of scholarships. It gives us another heralded recruit on the defensive side of the ball, that is becoming less of a surprise and more of a common happening.
We’ve already got a great group of freshman in, and the 2013 class includes some large “gets” on the defensive side of the ball. Jaylon Smith, Anzalone, Isaac Rochell, Doug Randolph, Michael Deeb, Luke Cole and Devin Butler are all 4 or 5 star commits on the defensive side of the ball. We got what could shake out to be the best of the 2014 d-lineman recently in Jay Hayes. It should be nice to see a front 7 that is dominate for years to come.
It started with Te’o, was encouraged by relentless recruiting by Kelly/his staff, and continues with great performance on the field. I believe we are witnessing how you build a great program, and possibly a dynasty.