Blue and Gold Illustrated

March 2024

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

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6 MARCH 2024 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED FAN FORUM QB OR NOT QB (FROM THE PORTAL)? I am opposed to ND dipping into the transfer portal every year for a QB! When will they begin to nurture the QBs that they recruited as freshmen? That is the only way to develop conti- nuity in that position. Riley Leonard is a nice kid and a fair QB, but he is injury prone. Why, because he runs with the football! What's Steve Angeli going to do? I know what I would do; I would be in the portal quicker than hurry up simply because the staff doesn't want my style of quarterbacking. I don't think that college coaches re- alize that the pros don't want running QBs. They want a QB that can read a de- fense from the pocket, not a scrambler. Lamar Jackson has become a very good passer now because he has learned how to read coverages, and he doesn't run nearly as much as he used to. What happens if Leonard is a bust next year? What if he can't get us to the expanded playoffs? I don't think that players coming for one year can grasp the pressure that comes with playing at ND. I realize that they have been in rivalry games but nothing compares to the intensity that teams play with when they play ND. I hope everything works out for all parties! Ray Ciarleglio WHAT IF? I keep wondering "What if " when it comes to Notre Dame's subpar 9-3 regular season in 2023. What if Tommy Rees would have stayed on as our of- fensive coordinator instead of Gerad Parker, who seemed to only have about 10 plays in his playbook? At times this season, quarterback Sam Hartman looked mediocre at best against defenses that he honestly should have been able to pick apart! I'll always be an Irish fan, and I support Coach Freeman in what I see he's try- ing to institute there at Notre Dame but looking at what Rees did at Alabama (No. 4 in the College Football Playoff), I just wish we could've kept him as OC instead of letting him go to 'Bama and Coach Saban. Go Irish! Gary "G-Wayne" Miller Jr. New Castle, Ind. BE HEARD! Send your letters to: Letters, Blue & Gold Illustrated, P. O. Box 2331, Durham, NC 27702 or e-mail to: After each of the four major recruiting rankings websites (On3, 247 Sports, Rivals and ESPN) updated their final individual prospect rankings for the 2024 cycle in January, Notre Dame stood at No. 10 in the On3 Industry Football Team Recruiting Rankings. But on National Signing Day, Feb. 7, Notre Dame dipped to the No. 11 class overall when Florida bumped up to No. 10 by a fractional margin. Still, it marks the third straight season the Irish and head coach Marcus Freeman have landed a top-11 haul (No. 6 in 2022 and No. 10 in 2023). The last time the Irish had three consecutive top-11 classes, per the On3 Industry Football Team Recruiting Rankings, dates back to 2002. Here is what some Irish fans had to say about that achievement on our message board at thomasna: That's a heck of a start for Freeman … Keep stacking top classes. Bradley_Quin: 11th overall and 11th in average rating of recruit ain't too shabby. Would really love to capitalize with a strong season this year, I think this is Freeman's most talented roster, IMO. Maybe if we win 10+ and a playoff game we can start inching back closer to that top 5. FWCOACH: In general, I don't have much issue with the rankings of the ND recruits and thus the team ranking. I think Bryce Young's ranking on Rivals is silly but he's still a top-25 kid. But ND has the fifth highest star average on Rivals. I put more stock in that than their points system. Would I trade ND's class for Auburn's class? Hell no. I don't like their class even close to how much I like ND's class. They have a 4-man LB class which is ranked much higher than KVA [Kyngstonn Viliamu- Asa], [Bodie] Kahoun and [Teddy] Rezac. I'd lay money down that ND's LBs outplay Auburn's group in college. I wouldn't take [No. 9] Oklahoma's class either. ND's OL haul is much better than Oklahoma. I liked Ragins at WR but ND's WRs are better than Sooners' class. But do I really care if the ranking services have ND 10th, 11th or 8th? Nope. Kcndmis97: Good class, not great. Not much difference between 11th and 8th. The top of this class is very good, title contender good. The middle is solid. The bottom half is not good. I've mentioned this before, need to improve on 2-3 prospects per cycle. If we landed [defensive lineman Justin] Scott instead of [Sean] Sevillano and [Elijah] Rushing instead of [Cole] Mullins, this class probably jumps up into that 5-7 range. arrowfan624: We landed in Tier 2, as I see it, this cycle. I don't think our class is much different than any other team ranked 6-13. Now can we keep guys from hopping in the portal and develop them? That's the key going forward, retention. FROM THE WEBSITE .com .com How different would Notre Dame's 2023 season have been if it had been able to keep offensive coordina- tor Tommy Rees from leaving to take the same position at Alabama? PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER

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