Blue and Gold Illustrated

March 2024

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

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30 MARCH 2024 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED 2024 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE BY TYLER HORKA N eeds, needs, needs. Everyone has them. Not everyone fulfills them. In the recruiting class of 2024, Notre Dame did. And then some. The early signing period was good to the Fighting Irish. Some programs can just call that window National Signing Day itself in this era. Put Notre Dame in that category. All 23 high school verbal commits were inked by 10:30 a.m. EST on Dec. 20. No drama. No decommitments. No flips. No unwanted surprises. Just a workmanlike haul. On the second signing day, Feb. 7, the Irish class ranking dipped to No. 11, edged out of the top 10 on signing day by a fraction of a point in Florida's favor. Most programs in the top tier get there by waiting on recruits who pull out all the stops to make their decisions. You know, the full-on five-wide hat spread across a table with fans from each of those schools holding their breath, hop- ing the cap with their team's logo is the one placed upon the prospect's head. Notre Dame was burned by such a dis- play in the class of 2023 when five-star safety Peyton Bowen chose Oregon and ultimately signed with Oklahoma. The Irish, who Bowen had been commit- ted to all along, ended up being a third fiddle. Not this time. Everyone who signed with Notre Dame did so with a pur- pose, and head coach Marcus Freeman knew going into the day that was going to be the case. He slept easy the night of Dec. 19. He should have, anyway. He put together quite a class without any hitches. There was a lot of behind-the- scenes work making it possible. "It starts with the relationship," he said. "It starts with, you can't relax when a kid's committed. You have to continue to pour time into building that relation- ship and trust. But it's also the ability to continue to sell Notre Dame and remind them up front, this is what you're choos- ing. 'Don't choose this place because of All-American Cam Williams is the headliner of Notre Dame's wide receiver haul in the class of 2024, but Micah Gilbert (above) has play-now potential, too. PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER TOP 11 AGAIN Notre Dame's top-heavy signees with sprinkled depth at numerous positions produces yet another one of the nation's best recruiting classes

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