Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 23, 2015 Issue

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

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Page 83 of 113

FOOTBALL RECRUITING BY ANDREW IVINS B rian Kelly used to like to take his time when it came to recruiting. He and his staff would identify prospects early in the process and then watch them de- velop over the years before making a push to land a commitment. It was a sound strategy at the time, but one that is now dated. The Notre Dame head coach has had to embrace change on the recruiting trail, and his 2017 recruiting class is a product of it. The Irish are off to their fastest start ever under Kelly with five juniors al- ready committed to the class, and ac- cording to the man who has the final say on a recruit, that's a result of some changes to his staff. "Right now, we're in a very good place in our recruiting office," Kelly said during the week leading up to the Wake Forest game. "We restructured our re- cruiting office about 15 months ago, and in that restructuring we had some per- sonnel changes. Those changes over the last eight months have taken hold and have allowed us to really gain traction. "I love the personnel that's in place. I love the people that we have there, and they're doing a terrific job. [Coordinator of recruiting operations] Aaryn Kear- ney and [recruiting assistant] Jasmine Johnson in that office are terrific, plus [recruiting coordinator] Mike Elston — all three of them are doing a terrific job." The early commit list reflects that. Notre Dame currently holds pledges from Cypress (Texas) Cy-Fair Rivals100 tight end Brock Wright, Norcross (Ga.) High Rivals250 defensive end Robert Changes Have Notre Dame Off To Fast Start In 2017 Class Head coach Brian Kelly — along with assistant coaches (from left to right) Scott Booker, Mike Elston and Todd Lyght — made it a priority to visit a prep game in the Pittsburgh area Nov. 6. PHOTO BY ANDREW IVINS

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