Blue and Gold Illustrated

August 2022

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 6 of 55 AUGUST 2022 7 FAN FORUM First-year Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman still has plenty to prove on the field, but he has continued to generate excitement among Fighting Irish fans with what he and his staff have been doing on the recruiting trail. As of July 20, the Irish boasted the No. 1 class for both 2023 and 2024 in the On3 Team Recruiting Rankings (Ohio State slipped just ahead of the Irish in 2023 a few days later). Our subscribers at sung Freeman's praises for his efforts in a message board post titled, "The best thing about this recruiting class …" Crich73: Is that next year and the one after that are only gonna get better! Building relationships, which is Freeman's strength is gonna show more and more. The coaching staff will soon catch up (just in regards to time pursuing) with other programs recruiting top-end kids. We won't have the temporary disadvantage of playing catch up. I always felt that ND could recruit at a top-4 level. Now I feel we might get the No. 1 every now and then. What a great feeling! I was spoiled having grown up while Lou Holtz was the coach. I always felt we had a chance to win. Now, I feel we are approaching that (from a talent perspective) and just hope Freeman's coaches can come close to his recruiting. It might take a year or two, but I feel Freeman can get there! IndyIrishRH: I just like that it has quickly been proved that the academics of Notre Dame have not held back recruiting. We've seen it the last two years with Freeman on staff. This year is extra special when you see the start of the raised expectations on that end of the business. For dessert, I like that it makes BK [former Irish coach Brian Kelly] look lazy. NJNative140: I agree. Just think it's going to be hard reaching or staying No. 1 at the end of each recruiting cycle mostly due to NIL deals. Freeman still has to produce wins and a lot of them. I'm rooting for him. Also believe once we land that top QB that puts ND on the map as a downfield throwing team that will also help. bmkhoward: If we back it up with on-field success, then there is certainly a No. 1 recruiting class on the way for ND. Bigteve79: When the class is as strong as it is and nearly full before the sea- son even starts, it strongly suggests recruiting has become a different game than prior ND coaches were playing. It also shows that coach Freeman and the new staff are now playing as well as anybody in the country, and my guess is we'll only see it improve once the success on the field starts to confirm the vibe recruits are getting from meeting these coaches. BE HEARD! Send your letters to: Letters Blue & Gold Illustrated P. O. Box 1007, Notre Dame, IN 46556 or e-mail to: JOIN THE CONVERSATION AT BLUEANDGOLD.COM! GET ONE YEAR FOR JUST $1 FROM THE WEBSITE .com .com NOTRE DAME COLLECTORS! Once again Jim Lefebvre stands tri- umphant with his Irish Echoes story focused on a critical theme associated with Notre Dame football — collecting! As a vintage collector of the Rockne era to the present, I cannot stress enough how important it is to preserve our unique football history and — as past, present and future all become one at Notre Dame — educate our current younger genera- tion on these ideals. While Augie's Locker Room has long been regarded as ground zero in the annuals of Irish collector lore, there is still the thrill of the hunt and whether here in South Bend or across the country, there are still many Irish gems being found tucked away, preserved by generations past. It is indeed thrilling to know as well there are many besides myself who also have original items once owned by Rockne and even The Gipp. In that light, our work as collectors become even more critical in the Irish preservation outside of the University archives! Again, the importance of Lefebvre's work can't be overstated enough and I look forward to your treasured maga- zine devoting more coverage to reflect on our incredible wealth of Irish Echoes and sharing it with our many Irish gen- erations. Without a doubt your maga- zine is the one lifeline that reaches out to so many of us across the world and gives us a taste so exciting to savor! Well done Blue & Gold Illustrated! You are defining Irish history! Eric Swope Mishawaka, Ind. YOUNG FAN Dear Mr. Engel, My name is William Pound, and I am 10 years old. I love Notre Dame, but in gen- eral I love their football and tennis teams. I would like to sincerely thank you, along with Mr. Horka, Mr. Burlage, Mr. Singer, Mr. Lefebvre and Ms. Pollard. I love your magazine (online and on paper), your podcasts and your YouTube channel. I think that Marcus Freeman should be a spectacular coach, especially with Harry Hiestand and Al Golden help- ing. My favorite players are Tyler Buch- ner, Logan Diggs, Chris Tyree, Lorenzo Styles, Deion Colzie, Isaiah Foskey and Michael Mayer. I also think that new- comers Jaylen Sneed and Brandon Jo- seph should have a lasting impact. I named a lot of players, but to tell the truth, I think that Notre Dame is so good this year that I should have named every player on the roster. Either way, I hope that you continue your amazing work at Blue & Gold! Thank you! Go Irish! William Pound Beverly, Mass. Dear William, Thank you for your loyal readership on all our platforms! This is shaping up to be one of the more fascinating Notre Dame football seasons in recent memory for a lot of the reasons you outlined and because of many of the players you men- tioned. It all starts with Marcus Free- man, of course. I'm particularly inter- ested to see just how much Tyler Buchner and Lorenzo Styles can provide as start- ers. I'm enough of a believer in both to think they'll be positives this year. Enjoy cheering on the Irish this season! Among the many unique items at Augie's Locker Room are a series of old-time helmets depicting the development through the years. PHOTO COURTESY AUGIE'S LOCKER ROOM

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