Blue and Gold Illustrated

March 2024

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

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34 MARCH 2024 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED 2024 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE BY MIKE SINGER N otre Dame's 2024 football re- cruiting class is complete, barring any late additions this spring. According to the On3 Industry Team Recruiting Rankings, the Fighting Irish's haul lands at No. 11 na- tionally. Notre Dame typically attracts rela- tively elite athletes, but there is a con- stant narrative about "closing the gap" with the very top of college football. Is this incoming class a step in that direc- tion? Blue & Gold Illustrated asked a trio of national experts for their takes on the class. BGI: What are your general im- pressions on Notre Dame's re- cruiting class? How does it stack up against the other elites in the country? On3 director of scouting and rankings Charles Power: "Notre Dame signed another strong class. There's headliners and depth from top to bottom. The class ranks No. 11 in the On3 Industry Team Recruiting Rank- ings, and the way it shook out for our own ranking is a little bit higher than that at No. 8. This class stacks up well within the group of elite classes. The gap from what we've seen the past 5 to 10 years between the top three or four classes to the classes that round out the top 10 to 12 has shrunk. "We're seeing a wide dispersion of talent throughout the elite group of top blue blood programs. And that devel- opment certainly benefits schools that aren't typically in the top five, like Notre Dame. There's less of a difference of the No. 8 or No. 11 class than No. 3 or No. 4 class than we've seen in the past decade. And there are a lot of factors that could go into that. "Notre Dame is recruiting at a College Football Playoff level. When you look at Marcus Freeman's first two years, you have to be encouraged by the strides they've made from a recruiting per- spective." On3 national scout Cody Bellaire: "The depth is unreal — that's the strong- est point of this Notre Dame group from top to bottom. There are extremely tal- ented players. There are top-heavy guys like Guerby Lambert, who is a five-star player for us, and Bryce Young, who is a top-50 player. We have six players in our On3 top-100 list who are signed with Notre Dame. That's fantastic when you go across the country. You compare that with other elite teams across the coun- try — having six guys in the top 100 is extremely comparable to some of those top programs and on par with the best in America. "The thing that separates Notre Dame is the depth of the class, and the talent at the bottom end is still very talented. I wouldn't be surprised to see some of the guys on the bottom end of the class end up shining in a couple years because they're higher-upside, developmental guys who need time to grow into their frames and polish up their games. I wouldn't be surprised to see the names at the top of the list pan out but also some of the guys at the bottom." Prep Football Report recruiting analyst Tom Lemming: "It's a good RECRUITING ROUNDTABLE National Experts Break Down Notre Dame's 2024 Class

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