With national signing day a few days behind us it is time to look at where Notre Dame stands among the other top national powerhouses. Checking the final verdict Wednesday afternoon I was a little uneasy seeing ND at 13 behind the very unfamiliar name… Maryland Terrapins. Great to see the Terps making strong moves after a few dismal years, lets see how this draft class pans out for them in a few years. Taking a step back from the ND program and looking at some of the winners from National Signing day, outside of Alabama, Michigan, and other powerhouses.
Coming in at number three in my list is Navy… yes Navy. The midshipmen face a major challenge when recruiting and that is finding players willing to commit to four years of military service after college. Along service there is also an academic and physical schedule that competes with Harvard, Stanford, and Yale. Navy picked up a lot of solid three star talent that will hopefully buy in and commit to the military lifestyle. Always cheering for those who protect this great nation so this see how this class will grow throughout the years.
Number two we have Rutgers, the New Brunswick team that hasn’t figured it out yet in their new conference, but could be on the rise after this class. I went to high school in South Jersey so I have seen first hand how Rutgers is a very popular college destination for local athletes. The biggest pick up for the Scarlet Knights could arguably be one of the smallest in stature in the 2017 recruiting class. Bo Melton who is listed at 5-11, but seeing him play at Cedar Creek that is a very generous height. No matter his size he plays like an Edelman or Welker with tenacity, good hands, and a great attitude. Rutgers came in at the 42nd ranked recruiting class lets see how they do against Michigan and Ohio State.
Number one… Stanford. The Harvard of the west went above and beyond in this recruiting class. California is a hotbed for college talent and Stanford actually went outside of their home state to capture great talent. Their top three signings were all five star recruits, two of which were offensive linemen. Arguably the best offensive lineman, Foster Sarell (WA) who dominated the US Army ALL- American Bowl and Walker Little (TX) who is also a top 10 overall players in the nation. Lastly, a QB out of Georgia, Davis Mills a 6-3 pro style quarterback, future Andrew Luck? No one will know the answer until we see him in action, but it will be great to sit back and watch the future of this offensive line.
Now to the only team that really matters in college football and that is Notre Dame. This season was one to forget for the Fighting Irish, 4-8 is never a good season for many teams, but it is unacceptable for Notre Dame. For the future I feel this recruiting class was thrown together. A new offensive coordinator, qb coach, and defensive coordinator it is hard to get everyone on the same page with what high school athletes they are trying to target. With it being Notre Dame they still were able to attract athletes. The top rated recruit is something Notre dame has been looking for for a long time, and that is a TE. Brock Wright is a 6-4 freak of an athlete that Chris Long will have to incorporate into his offense the best he can. ND will have a new QB under center come this fall and that will be Brandon Wimbush! In my opinion Wimbush, not a new recruit, will be the next Tony Rice and he will cool the seat of Brian Kelly. Along with Wimbush ND also is bringing Avery Davis another dual threat QB that will play right along with Kelly and Long’s offense. Realistically the offense was no issue for ND in 2016, it was the defense.
On the defensive side of the ball there was no spot that really stood out and as a fan I could say, “Oh we are good there no worries.” Complete opposite, I am worried actually freaking out to see what Elko could even come up with. All the talk has been about this “rover” that Elko likes to use in his defensive schemes. Looking at the linebackers that could potentially be groomed to become this “rover” is David Adams. Much like the middle linebacker in Van Gorders D the rover will be a position that takes time to learn and will have to be a veteran player. The biggest name to look out for is Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, a mouthful yes, but also talented. Myron is a three star defensive end from Hawaii, but at 6-4 270 he will provide depth and hopefully some pressure to that horrendous D-Line of last years. Having three stars next to your name means nothing, Josh Adams, Notre Dame’s current RB and best all-around athlete was also a three star recruit.
So, Cheer, Cheer, For Ole’ Notre Dame? I say hold your horsemen, it is the first year for both defensive and offensive coordinators. Right now, after Wednesday we stole some recruits from other teams and turned this class from a top 20 class to a top 15 class. Will they contribute right away, no, but we will we see a new attitude and energy from Elko? Boy I hope so. 4-8 will not happen again, it’s not always the X’s and O’s it’s the Jimmy’s and the Joes.