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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Three for Tuesday

July 12, 2022

Notre Dame baseball has its guy in Shawn Stiffler, who has led the VCU program to back-to-back regional appearances.

Now, it will come down to Stiffler and Notre Dame making timely assistant hires to help maintain the roster and catch up on recruiting. 

It will be interesting to see who Stiffler brings in to complete his staff as former VCU assistant Rich Witten is now the head coach at Florida International, which is important to note as he was the recruiting coordinator while also coaching offense and infield defense. 

Sources have stated that VCU pitching coach Seth Cutler-Voltz is well respected and one of the young names in the coaching profession to keep an eye on. The Rams pitching staff had a team ERA of 3.91 in 2022, which is the exact same ERA the Irish recorded last year. VCU also recorded a 1.29 WHIP (12th nationally) and just 3.12 walks allowed per nine innings, which was 10th in the nation. 

Cutler-Voltz is definitely a name to keep an eye on as Stiffler hits the ground rolling, but what we do know is Chuck Ristano and Rich Wallace will be headed to Tallahassee to join Link Jarrett’s staff, so learning Notre Dame will be important for the new staff. 

Wallace’s ability to figure out Notre Dame’s admissions was underrated and something most overlooked. In fact, Wallace figured out how to get two undergraduate transfers into Notre Dame, which is essentially unheard of in South Bend. 

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The positive news here is it looks like Notre Dame’s veteran core plans to stick around. Last week there were rumblings that Brooks Coetzee III, Zack Prajzner and Carter Putz were thinking about sticking around and this week it certainly seems to be more likely than not. There seems to be a sense of pride in what they’ve helped build over the last three seasons and they want to finish it off to show they can do it without Jarrett. 

It’s a significant development to help maintain the roster, but also to give Stiffler returning leadership. There will obviously be a transition period between the players and new staff, but Coetzee, Prajzner and Putz can be valuable resources as Stiffler and company learn Notre Dame and the ACC. 

When it comes to the players in the Transfer Portal, it’s somewhat quiet. RHP Austin Temple spent one year at Notre Dame and it’s doubtful he returns for the 2023 season. LHP Jack Findlay made the Transfer Portal deadline to be eligible for next year and sources have been at the opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to his future. Right now, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him in Tallahassee, but it’s clear Stiffler is working quickly to convince the New Jersey native to stay at Notre Dame. As it stands now, we expect Findlay and Temple to have decisions made much sooner than later. 

Perfect Game is throwing a massive tournament in Georgia this weekend and according to a source, VCU hats have been watching Notre Dame commits over the last few days. When it comes to the 2023 recruiting class, it comes down to maintaining top-ranked Chase Krewson’s commitment. 

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Let me state this isn’t a shot as recruiting evaluations aren’t an exact science, but reading a national analyst questioning the development of Keon Keeley‍ is somewhat puzzling. The article stated Keeley (and Brenan Vernon) didn’t do the regional or national camp circuit, so not much was known about their development. 

Personally, the camp circuit is a useful resource in evaluations, but all you have to do is turn on the film and it’s pretty easy to see Keeley’s development since last summer. Keeley dominated as a junior and that includes a big game against Isidore Newman school (La.) where he sacked Arch Manning twice and then recorded an interception against the five-star quarterback. 

Keeley is athletic, quick, violent and plays with a relentless motor at 6-foot-6, 240 pounds. Now, Keeley has a staff that takes advantage of his athletic ability a little more than Vernon, so I can see some questions from a national guy there. However, Vernon has done a big body transformation over the last year, but more importantly, the kid has gotten healthy. Vernon can take a big jump if he’s turned loose to make more plays. 

All in all, these kids show up when they put the pads on and that’s what matters. 

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