Blue and Gold Illustrated

March 2024

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

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70 MARCH 2024 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED 2024 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE BY MIKE SINGER N otre Dame signed a 23-man class that was No. 11 in the country per the 2024 Industry Football Team Re- cruiting Rankings. And the Irish already have a terrific head start on the 2025 cycle with 15 commitments in the up- coming class as of Feb. 12 — seven on offense and eight on defense. The following is a breakdown of who is committed, who the top targets are and how many players are expected at each position for the Irish in the 2025 class. All rankings listed are according to On3. QUARTERBACK Committed: 1 Projected Take: 1 Synopsis: Notre Dame landed a huge commitment early last fall when Lu- cedale (Miss.) George County's Deuce Knight, who ranks as the No. 29 over- all prospect and No. 5 quarterback na- tionally, picked the Irish over Ole Miss, Tennessee and others. He's been a key part of helping the Fighting Irish build its 2025 class, visiting frequently and forming strong relationships with the recruits. When Knight committed, Notre Dame assumed that SEC programs would continue targeting him, and that's what has occurred. Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin was at one of Knight's basketball games in January, and new Alabama head coach Kalen DeBoer has personally taken a role in trying to flip Knight from the Irish. It'll be a battle for Notre Dame to keep the Mississippi product locked in, but the Irish have a great chance to do so. RUNNING BACK Committed: 2 Projected Take: 2-3 Synopsis: Notre Dame landed two commitments very early in the 2025 cycle. Tampa (Fla.) Jesuit's Justin Thur- man, who ranks as a three-star player and the No. 27 running back in the land, picked the Irish over Auburn, Florida, Tennessee and a handful of others Aug. 1 of last year. And just a couple hours before Notre Dame kicked off against Ohio State last September, Bryant (Ark.) High's Dan- iel Anderson, a three-star player and the No. 41 running back nationally, announced his pledge to the Irish over Mississippi State and Tennessee. While Anderson and Thurman aren't highly ranked prospects currently, run- ning backs coach Deland McCullough evaluated both in person at Notre Dame's prospect camps. It's possible that the Irish will take a third running back prospect. WIDE RECEIVER Committed: 1 Projected Take: 3-4 Synopsis: Notre Dame recruiting has seen an uptick in going after pros- pects with NFL heritage. And in the 2025 class, that's certainly the case at the wide receiver position. On Satur- day, Feb. 10, Notre Dame added a pledge from Wayne (N.J.) DePaul Catholic pass catcher Elijah Burress, a three-star prospect and the No. 85 receiver nation- ally. His father is Plaxico Burress, who most notably played for the Pittsburgh Steelers (2000-04, '12-13) and caught the game-winning touchdown for the New York Giants (2005-08) in Super Bowl XLII. Lucedale (Miss.) George County quarterback Deuce Knight, who ranks as the No. 29 overall prospect and No. 5 quarterback nationally, committed to Notre Dame last September. PHOTO BY MIKE SINGER A Look Ahead At The Irish's Class Of 2025

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