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Notre Dame Football

Irish Need to Land More from GA

March 10, 2017
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The SEC has a reputation in college football. Some of it is is good and some of it is not. Part of the good, though, is the reputation for the type of athletes they have in the conference. It's pretty much undeniable that they have a high level of individual talent playing for their programs and most of it comes from recruiting.

While a lot of talk about the success on the field from the conference stems from Alabama's dominance, it's clear the SEC has a ton of studs sprinkled throughout the member schools. They once again had the most combine invites from a single conference (66) and consistently recruit better than every one else in terms of the rankings. The most recent class rankings featured six SEC schools in the top twelve. The previous year they had the same number with ten schools in the top twenty five.

The biggest reason why they are able to land so much talent year after year? It's location more than anything else. They get the advantage of being able to recruit in a region that produces a large amount of blue chip recruits. It's almost an unfair advantage, but it's not like a school in another conference can move their campus to the southeast.

The only way for a Notre Dame to counter act it is to try and lure recruits to leave home and come up north. It's not an easy task, but it's a necessary one they have to complete to keep up. Frankly, the Irish have only done an okay job of doing so.

Florida has a surplus of talent every year and they've been able to get some traction down there. They'll have over ten players on the roster from the state this season and signed three players from the state in the 2017 class (four if you include IMG product Robert Hainsey who is originally from Pennsylvania). Georgia has not been nearly as friendly, though.
The Irish have simply not been able to get a foothold in a state that consistently has a ton of 4 and 5 star recruits. The last non-specialist they signed from a Georgia high school was Isaac Rochell back in 2013.

The Irish have simply not been able to get a foothold in a state that consistently has a ton of 4 and 5 star recruits. The last non-specialist they signed from a Georgia high school was Isaac Rochell back in 2013. Even if you count Tyler Newsome and Spencer Perry, who is from Georgia, but was attending IMG Academy when he committed to Notre Dame, that's only three players since that time. It's a bit startling that they have found almost no success landing anyone from there.

That leads into why they haven't. The simple answer is that Georgia does a terrific job of keeping players at home. The Bulldogs signed fifteen of the top twenty eight players from the state in the last cycle and most of the others signed with other schools that are in the south. It would be unrealistic to think that the Irish are going to start a GA to ND pipeline any time soon based on what has been happening in recent years.

In saying that, they clearly would benefit from being able to steal one of two players each cycle from there. They can do better than they have been doing. In the last cycle they went zero for twenty two with offers to Georgia prospects highlighted by an early de-commitment from defensive end Robert Beal.

Perhaps some new blood recruiting the state can help? Scott Booker never gained any traction as a recruiter when he was assigned there and neither did Brian VanGorder. It's unclear who is going to be assigned to Georgia with both of those coaches no longer employed by Notre Dame, but if it's Autry Denson and/or Mike Elko, they would both appear to have higher upside as recruiters in that region.
Perhaps some new blood recruiting the state can help? Scott Booker never gained any traction as a recruiter when he was assigned there and neither did Brian VanGorder.

In the 2018 class, Notre Dame earned a commitment from recruit out of Georgia. Safety Derrik Allen is from Marietta, Georgia and is an elite prospect. He's the kind of defensive back that typically ends up at Florida State, Clemson, or an SEC school. He has the tools to develop into a difference maker for the Irish and if they could land another one like him from Georgia in 2018, it would be a massive development.

Christian Turner is a running back out of Buford, Georgia how recently received an offer from the Irish. He is from the same high school as former Irish star Darius Walker. Can Harry Hiestand's o-line magic help them land 5 star Jamaree Salyer or 4 star guard Warren Ericson? Salyer has already visited, but will be a tough pull away from the south. Ericson has yet to visit, but was in Matt Freeman's recent Dream Class for 2018. The Irish could sure use a big time corner like Christian Tutt out of Thomson, Georgia. He visited in 2017 and they would love to get him on campus again soon. He is currently on ISD's 2018 Target List as someone we feel they have a shot at landing.

They need Allen to be the start of something unlike Stephon Tuitt in 2011 and Rochell in 2013. Those were big time gets, but they were not the start of a trend in Georgia for the Irish.

So far Notre Dame has fourteen offers out to prospects from the state in this cycle. I'm sure there will be more in the coming months. I'm also sure the staff is hoping for more success this year and beyond in a state that produces talent year after year. 
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