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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Final 2023 ISD Fab 50

January 25, 2023

Same same, but different.

Nothing sums up the 2023 ISD Fab 50 better than that from a Notre Dame perspective. In a lot of ways the final version of the ISD Fab 50 tells a similar story to what happened with Brian Kelly’s later recruiting classes. Notre Dame fell short of landing a bunch of top-50 prospects in the class. What makes it different is that they were in the game for more of these top players than any class in recent memory and had a few who were committed.

They just didn’t close, for reasons that don’t have much to do with the recruiting abilities of the coaching staff.

Only one Notre Dame commit makes my top-50 this year. Charles Jagusah‍ (49th) just made the cut. Jeremiyah Love‍ was close to making it, but there were only two running backs who did.

This was supposed to be the year that Notre Dame broke through in terms of landing top tier talent. It looked like that was going to happen and there was one point in time when it looked like Keon Keeley‍ (4th), Peyton Bowen‍ (14th), and Dante Moore‍ (2nd) were all going to end up in Notre Dame’s class. We all know how those recruitments turned out.

Not landing any of them kept this 2023 class for the Irish, one that was loaded with blue-chip prospects, from being great.

This was a very good class, the second one of those for Marcus Freeman in back-to-back cycles. That’s a step in the right direction from the good classes Kelly typically signed. Notre Dame wants to take that next step in recruiting and they are off to a good start in 2024 (they have two commitments who will be in my initial Fab 50).

It’s not how you start, though. It’s how you finish.

We’ll see if Notre Dame can close better in the next cycle than they did in this one.

The final 2023 ISD Fab 50

- Notre Dame offered 32 of the prospects I have ranked in my top-50. That’s around the number they’ve been in most years.

Offers are one thing. How many of these players were they contenders for?

Probably eight. Last year the number was nine.

Obviously it is important to land them, but that’s a number you want to see go up because if that number stays around eight or nine in 2024, it will be extremely difficult to land four or five.

- Out of the 48 who have signed or committed, 31 of them are going to be playing in the SEC. That includes the Oklahoma and Texas players.

It’s no surprise that Alabama (nine) and Georgia (seven) are once again in class above everyone else. The talent those two programs continue to add on defense is downright frightening.

- Safety Malik Hartford‍ (Ohio State) and receiver Aidan Mizell‍ (Florida) are the two players I’m much higher on than anyone else in the industry.

- Five of the top-14 players were previously committed to other schools.

- 16 of the 50 project to play defensive line in college. The depth at edge rusher might not have been great in this class, but there are several top guys who I believe have the chance to be special when it comes to getting after the quarterback.

- I’ve been doing this since 2018 for ISD (I started in 2017, but only did it for players with ND offers that year). I’ll have something in 6 Thoughts tomorrow comparing how I’ve done to the 247Sports, Rivals, and ESPN’s 2018 top-50 players.

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