Blue and Gold Illustrated

March 2024

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

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Page 68 of 91

BLUEGOLDONLINE.COM MARCH 2024 69 2024 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE 2 The number of sons of Pro Football Hall of Famers the Irish signed in 2024 — Kennedy Urlacher (Brian Urlacher, Chicago Bears) and Bryce Young (Bryant Young, San Francisco 49ers). 4 Defensive linemen signed in the 2024 class. Continuing to flex his re- cruiting muscle at these critical positions, Irish defensive line coach Al Washington landed two four-star and two three-star linemen. Bryce Young (No. 7 edge) and Loghan Thomas (No. 27 edge) lead the group as a pair of four-star players. Three-star recruits Sean Sevillano Jr. (No. 54 defensive lineman) and Cole Mullins (No. 59 edge) round out this group. A position that Notre Dame struggled for years to properly recruit before Brian Kelly and his defensive recruiting guru Mike Elston arrived in 2010, the Irish defensive line has provided more depth and elite talent than any other position group over the last decade-plus. 4 Offensive linemen in this recruiting class, tying defensive linemen for the greatest number of players among any position group. Realizing that offensive line recruits typically take longer to develop physi- cally compared to those at other position groups — and portal fortification along the offensive line isn't ideal — keeping this pipeline rolling with big recruiting numbers each year here is critical to program success. It's unlikely that any of these four incoming freshmen will crack the lineup in 2024, and this class doesn't provide the star power compared to the 2021 group that included Joe Alt, Blake Fisher and Rocco Spindler three years ago. But this year's four-man haul still includes three four-star players with Guerby Lambert (No. 5 tackle), Styles Prescod (No. 15 interior) and Anthonie Knapp (No. 5 interior), along with three-star recruit Peter Jones (No. 67 interior). 6 Percent of Notre Dame's signees from 2018-24 hailed from the state of Indiana. Year Signees In-State Pct. Top Other State, No. 2024 23 2 9% Ohio/North Carolina, 3 2023 24 1 4% Texas, 4 2022 22 2 9% 4 tied with 2 apiece 2021 27 3 11% California, 5 2020 17 0 0% New Jersey, 2 2019 22 1 5% Georgia, 3 2018 27 1 4% Florida, 4 Total 162 10 6% California, 17 13 The number of states represented in this year's recruiting class. This far-reaching haul nicely illustrates Notre Dame's broad appeal and how wide its recruiting net stretches. From Massachusetts in the Northeast; to Florida and Georgia in the Deep South; to California and Arizona out West; to Missouri and Nebraska in the Plains, Notre Dame's recruiting class comes from all over the map. North Carolina (3), Ohio (3), California (2), Texas (2), Indiana (2) and Georgia (2) are the six states that provided multiple players. Typically, Florida, Illinois, Michigan and often Pennsylvania — which all sent one recruit apiece this year — bring multiple players in a cycle. But that wasn't the case this year. 57 Notre Dame's blue-chip percentage ratio with its 2024 recruiting class — a respectable mark but not an elite one. In fact, it's the low- est percentage in the last three seasons and the second lowest in the last six recruiting cycles for the Irish. The blue-chip ratio measures the number of four- and five-star recruits (according to the On3 Industry Ranking, a weighted average of the four lead- ing media services) in proportion to the total number of recruits in a class. This Irish class features no five-star players — wide receiver Williams lost that elite designation shortly before the Feb. 7 signing day — but it does include 13 four-star players among the 23-member class. Notre Dame ranks 15th nationally in blue-chip ratio with this class. It ranked fifth in the ratio in 2023 (78.3) and it was also fifth in 2022 (77.3). 200 The number of tackles linebacker Bodie Kahoun made in 11 games as a high school senior at Roanoke (Va.) Patrick Henry, an average of 18.2 per game. 3,256 The number of receiving yards Irish wide receiver signees Micah Gilbert, Logan Saldate and Cam Williams combined for during their senior seasons. 7 , 504 The total number of yards from scrimmage Irish running back signee ANEYAS WILLIAMS accumu- lated at Hannibal (Mo.) High in four years, 4,255 yards rushing and 3,249 yards receiving. — Todd D. Burlage 2024 Notre Dame National Signing Day: By The Numbers PHOTO COURTESY ANEYAS WILLIAMS proved pivotal in program history. On3 never gave the Irish more than five sign- ees in the top 100 when it began ranking players in the 2021 cycle. Before 2021, the last time the Irish added at least six top-100 recruits, ac- cording to the On3 Industry Ranking, was in 2011. They had seven in 2006 and 2008 and eight in 2007. The 2024 class produced a record number of early enrollees. It was not until Weis' second season, in 2006, that Notre Dame began allow- ing incoming freshmen to enroll one se- mester early. The Irish welcomed three then. In the 2024 class, that number has quintupled. Fifteen of Notre Dame's 23 signees began classes in January. Quarterback CJ Carr, wide receiver Micah Gilbert, offensive lineman Pe- ter Jones, tight end Jack Larsen, of- fensive lineman Anthonie Knapp, edge rusher Cole Mullins, offensive lineman Styles Prescod, defensive lineman Sean Sevillano Jr., edge Loghan Thomas, safety Kennedy Urlacher, linebacker Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa, running back Aneyas Williams, wide receiver Cam Williams, edge Bryce Young and run- ning back Kedren Young all moved in for the spring 2024 semester. Their arrival surpassed the 2021 class' mid-year enrollee record of 14. When spring practice kicks off in March, Notre Dame coaches receive their first look at the first 15 members of the 2024 recruiting class. Still, it will take a season, or two, or even three, four or five to determine how impact- ful each player became for the Fighting Irish. ✦

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