Is The #1 Recruiting Class Full?

Around a month ago we had a check in on where we stood with regard to availability of space in the #1 recruiting class in the nation. We had 22 recruits coming in, and with some assumptions got our magic number down to 86, still 1 over the limit (previous math here). Let’s see where we now stand that the picture has become a bit clearer.

A few questions have been answered, some rumors confirmed. Danny Mattingly and Jamel James indeed jumped ship. I do like the staff policy of continuing to look for recruits if recruits continue to take visits, and it seems to have paid off here.

We also lost a big piece of our class in Alex Anzalone. While Anzalone cited Kelly’s flirtation with the NFL, I wonder if that’s the only reason. His father is a Florida grad, and he has flipped from OSU to ND to Florida back to ND again and then finally enrolling early at Florida. While he reaffirmed his commitment after the beating at the hand of Alabama in Miami, I have a hard time believing that the game didn’t influence him at least somewhat. He’s enrolled at Florida, so no flipping back. A tough loss, but it happens (see Gunner Kiel).

While I was quite high on Jamel James, replacing him with a recruit like Greg Bryant is absolutely fine by me. He is one of the best young players available, and rated near the top of the charts on all rankings sites. With Riddick and Wood gone as well, this is a great pickup. According to most his commitment is directly due to our on the field success, and we wouldn’t be getting a kid this good under 8-5 circumstances. To the victor go the spoils.

Danny Mattingly was another recruit I was more than content with. However, replacing him with Max Redfield is another  move we can all more than live with. Redfield becomes what is said to be the first 5 star Safety to commit to Notre Dame since the star rating system has been in effect. While I think the secondary has played pretty well this year, having an athlete with his size and speed back there should help us make the leap to elite in the back end in the near future.

So that’s two 4 star recruits out, two 5 star recruits in. Not too shabby. A RB for a RB and a LB for a S. Doesn’t seem to shake too much up. But, a surprise “get” also popped up. Tarean Folston, another highly sought after RB from Florida, joined the Irish Mob.

So where does that leave us? 85 is our magic number.

Now the numbers look like this:

  • 17 Freshmen
  • 22 Sophomores
  • 18 Juniors
  • 22 Verbal Commitments

That’s 79. There are also 9 seniors eligible for return for a fifth year and one for a possible sixth. Let’s run down the options there.

  • Eifert – Going Pro
  • Stockton – Unlikely to come back due to depth
  • Golic – Unlikely to come back due to depth/lack of finding position
  • Tausch – Lost his job to Brinzda
  • Wood- Going Pro
  • Martin- Back
  • Watt- Back
  • Calabrese- Unknown
  • Fox- Unknown
  • Slaughter (Sixth Year) – Petition denied, currently appealing

That’s five gone (likely six, unless the NCAA surprises everyone), two back, and two question marks, bringing our magic number to 83, even if we keep Fox and Calabrese. So that leaves two spots open in the class, and if we get a transfer/ don’t offer someone a 5th year there are a couple more.

Given the current roster and state of recruiting affairs I believe only two men would be allowed to fill those spots. Eddie Vanderdoes, a monster 5 star DT and former USC commit, or Priest Willis, a 5 star CB. Priest Willis looks like a real long shot, with us out of his top schools.  While either would be a lovely addition to the class, we could miss both and potentially still be the best class out there. We could get both and have to find room for them. At the end of the recruiting cycle its a nice change to be thinking about  just tacking on a couple more 5 star recruits, even given our recent loss.


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  • http://yeah carl

    Priest Willis, Didn’t think nd was really pushing that hard, or even in on him anymore. Folston has visited Auburn, so he might not be around next year and is hardly a commit right now. Also there is a 5 star running back(current USC commit) from chicago who has set up a visit with nd. Ty Issac looks like he could be swayed. The irish are no where near done, also looking at some OLB/DE’s.

    • GB

      I don’t think Auburn presents much of a challenge as their program is down in the dumps. If he visits other schools then maybe so. I think they take 3. Hopefully, Vandervoes is one.

  • IrishGuy23

    The guy I think we look for is Pervot flipping from USC to us.

    Also, there was some rumors(on Scout I believe) that AQM could flip to us from Miami before NSD if his test scores improved. He wants to play with Shumate.

    Willis IMO isn’t even a real shot. Assuming there are two spots left I think it comes down to two of the following: Vanderdoes, Pervot, AQM, Deon Hollins.

  • JDriveSthND

    Really? You don’t think this staff will take any of the following:

    Kylie Fitts – 4-star DE
    Torrodney Prevot – 4-star LB
    Deon Hollins – 4-star LB/DE
    Sebastian LaRue – 4-star ATH/WR
    Durham Smythe – 4-star TE

    If ND doesn’t bring back Calabrese/Fox, which I think needs to happen to improve talent level at the position, that makes 4 slots left to fill.

    Vanderdoes – if he wants in, he’s in.
    Fitts – I believe the same thing goes for Fitts as Vanderdoes. Need on the DL is just too great.
    Hollins/Prevot – I think ND takes a commitment from one of these guys, maybe both.
    LaRue/Smythe – If ND only takes one of the LB on the board, the other slot goes to one of these two and that finishes off the class.

    This is a best-case scenario of course.

    • RiverParkSeer

      Thanks for reading! I think the staff might take 1 or 2 of those guys. I’ll get a look at the chances on them up soon. But, I still believe that the staff really wants Vanderdoes. That leaves 1 spot.I really believe they’re bringing Fox/Calabrese back. Leadership vacuum created by Te’o leaving could be filled by those guys.

  • Terry

    This is a nice discussion to be having. Can anyone imagine this 5 years ago?

  • The Subway Domer

    A few things:
    Priest Willis isn’t even close to being an option right now. Like never.
    ND does not have the #1 class according to anyone right now.
    ND has room for 2, but would take a 3rd if it’s the right guy.

    • RiverParkSeer

      Thanks for reading! Love your site by the way. I said in his bio willis was a super longshot hail mary unlikely guy. I’m thinking they while they may take a 3rd if it was absolutely the right guy, but I believe they want Fox/Calabrese both back for leadership /to fill Te’os vacancy.

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