Seriously folks. Just think about this a moment. Reflect back on the linemen, on both sides of the ball that have been coming to Notre Dame recently, and who are committing every day. This is a WILD swing, in a wildly positive direction for the Irish. AND HALLE-FREAKING-LUJAH!
There was a time, not too long ago, that Notre Dame couldn’t recruit the big guys anymore, most especially on the defensive side of the ball. This happened during Ty and was reinforced during Chaz. Yeah, the OL was decently talented but under-developed, and there wasn’t a coordinated focus on the trenches, and more often than not ND was whiffing on the top guys.
But B to the K came in with a plan to build the team from the inside out, and it is FREAKING WORKING. To wit, let’s take a look at the last O-line and D-line to take the field for Chaz, and compare that to what ND is projecting for next season:
Matt Romine 4-Star, #12 OG
Eric Olsen 4-Star, #49 OL
Dan Wenger 4-Star, #20 OL
Trevor Robinson 4-Star, #6 OG
Sam Young 5-Star, #2 OL
Zack Martin 3-Star, #24 OT
Christian Lombard 4-Star, #2 OG
Nick Martin 3-Star, #39 OT
Chris Watt 5-Star, #1 OG
Connor Hanratty 3-Star, #31 OT
And the D…
Morrice Richardson 3-Star, #64 DE
Ian Williams 3-Star, #36 DT
Ethan Johnson 5-Star, #4 DE
Sheldon Day 5-Star, #6 DT
Louis Nix 4-Star, #9 DT
Stephon Tuitt 5-Star, #10 DE
Without a doubt, there’s been a talent upgrade along the Defensive Line. And this isn’t even getting into the much improved depth at virtually every position. Add on top of this some amazing player development under The Diaco and this is really something to appreciate in the BK era. Big guys that can play. It’s a thing of beauty! The LB recruiting is equally impressive, which is icing on this big guy cake.
Along the OL, the strides taken in talent are harder to see, as the recruiting fruits haven’t quite come to bear (yet). While position rankings are similar, it’s a slightly lower-rated crew based on stars. But coaching and player development is there, and if you take the incoming frosh + the current class being assembled, ND is adding EIGHT 4-Stars + One 3-Star, with all fitting the profile that BK and crew look for in the big guys up front. So this is more of a work in progress, but it’s getting there.
ND is back on track to being a perennial powerhouse, and it’s starting in the trenches. And it is WORKING!
Go Irish, KILL EVERYBODY!
ps – Sorry for being MIA for a while. Hoping to be back more regularly!