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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Notre Dame & Marcus Freeman Chasing History on the Recruiting Trail

July 17, 2022
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Notre Dame recruiting was hot during the spring and the program continued momentum through the summer. 

Marcus Freeman and his staff have not only embraced the challenges of recruiting at Notre Dame, but have emphasized the strengths that make the university one of the most unique places in college athletics. 

The added energy from Chad Bowden and the new staff arrivals has been received well by recruits as Notre Dame has gotten more top-tier talent on campus - which leads to having an opportunity to sell the program face-to-face. 

The Fighting Irish sit at 20 commitments as of July 18th, which is tied for No. 1 on Rivals.com and No. 2 on 247 Sports trailing Ohio State following the Buckeyes landing commitment No. 19 from tight end Jelani Thurman‍ on Sunday afternoon. 

Notre Dame has a long tradition of landing top talent, but the Irish have not landed a No. 1 class since recruiting rankings started being tracked. The highest finish on Rivals was  No. 2 in 2008 and No. 3 on Rivals and then No. 5 in 2013 on 247’s composite. 

2023 recruiting is far from over, which should be should be exciting for Notre Dame fans as the staff looks to close on elite talent down the stretch as Freeman’s first class has already made quite the statement on the composite rankings. 

Notre Dame landed a commitment from four-star receiver Jaden Greathouse‍ on Friday, which gave the class a total of 285.34 points on 247’s composite rankings. That total surpassed Notre Dame’s 2013 class which totaled 284.77 points with 23 commitments. Notre Dame is on pace to hit the 300 mark and that would historically be good enough for a top 3-5 class. 

Freeman and his staff are also recruiting a better athlete as Notre Dame is at the 4.00 mark on Rivals and sitting at 93.29 on the composite rankings. Only Alabama (12 commits) and Ohio State (19 commits) sit higher in average player ranking as the Crimson Tide average 93.99 and the Buckeyes sit at 93.69. On Rivals, Notre Dame’s average player ranking is 4.00 and trails only Ohio State at 4.05. 

Notre Dame has 10 commits with a composite rating higher than 94 led by Berkeley Prep (Fla.) defensive end Keon Keeley‍, who was the first verbal commitment of the class. 

DE Keon Keeley: 99.55
S Peyton Bowen: 97.63
OL Charles Jagusah: 97.52
LB Drayk Bowen: 96.35
CB Christian Gray: 95.42
DL Brenan Vernon: 95.31
WR Jaden Greathouse: 94.79
WR Braylon James: 94.54
CB Micah Bell: 94.51
DL Boubacar Traore: 94.40

Freeman’s first class is also close to having more four and five-star talent than any other Notre Dame recruiting class in the internet era. The Irish signed 19 blue chip prospects in 2013 and currently sit with 18 in the 2023 class. 

The numbers are impressive, but Freeman is also chasing some college football history as an African-American (and Korean) head coach has never landed the nation’s top-ranked class. Freeman has a chance to not only set a bar at Notre Dame, but raise the national bar for his peers when it comes to recruiting in 2023 and beyond. 

247 Sports Composite Team Rankings

YEAR CLASS RANKING TOTAL COMMITS TOTAL POINTS AVG. PLAYER RANKING
2010 15 23 241.92 88.44
2011 9 23 271.38 89.96
2012 17 17 248.21 91.21
2013 5 23 284.77 92.30
2014 11 23 260.44 89.32
2015 13 23 267.79 90.45
2016 15 23 249.43 89.00
2017 10 21 251.32 89.37
2018 10 27 268.86 90.05
2019 15 22 258.56 90.60
2020 18 17 251.28 90.74
2021 9 27 269.05 89.68
2022 7 22 275.44 91.82
2023** 2 20 285.34 93.29
2024** 1 5 118.80 94.53

Rivals Team Rankings 

YEAR CLASS RANKING TOTAL COMMITS TOTAL POINTS AVG. PLAYER RANKING
2002 24 18 1570 3.56
2003 12 21 1756 3.33
2004 32 16 820 2.75
2005 40 15 661 3.00
2006 8 28 2189 3.46
2007 8 18 1932 3.72
2008 2 23 2744 3.96
2009 21 18 1564 3.44
2010 14 23 1618 3.39
2011 10 23 1976 3.48
2012 20 17 1521 3.53
2013 3 24* 2893 3.92
2014 11 23 2211 3.52
2015 11 24* 2423 3.54
2016 13 23 2289 3.57
2017 13 21 2144 3.33
2018 11 27 2380 3.44
2019 14 22 2274 3.55
2020 22 17 1975 3.59
2021 9 27 2378 3.44
2022 6 23* 2481 3.65
2023** 1 (T) 20 2697 4.00
2024** 1 5 735 3.80

*Note: Rivals includes Eddie Vanderdoes in the 2013 ranking, Bo Wallace in 2015 and walk-on long snapper Rino Monteforte in 2022. 

** Note: Current standings 

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