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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

The Final 2024 ISD Fab 50

January 29, 2024

“It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish”. That’s the theme for the final 2024 ISD Fab 50 in more ways than one.

It applies to Notre Dame, with Bryce Young‍ rising up throughout the recruiting process and the Irish staff winning a big battle to land Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa‍. It also applies to the list in general with several players taking big leaps in the rankings over the last 12 months. (More on that later)

I have Young (35th) ranked higher than Elijah Rushing‍ (45th). A year ago that might have seemed ludicrous, but no matter how anyone ranks these two, there is no doubt that they are considered in the same tier of prospect today and that was not the case previously.

There are four Notre Dame signees in the Fab 50: Young, KVA (38th), CJ Carr‍ (41st), and Cam Williams‍ (43rd). That’s a very good group and Guerby Lambert‍ is lumped in with them for me as a prospect as well despite not making my top-50.

The 2024 ISD Fab 50

Other Notre Dame targets 

It’s not a long list and looking at it honestly, Notre Dame really wasn't a true contender for any of these players outside of maybe offensive tackle Kevin Heywood‍ (37th). Whether he decided to focus more on other programs or Notre Dame decided to focus on Lambert as the top tackle on their board, they ended up doing just fine with their O-line class.

Heywood is a great prospect, though. That’s a very good pick up for Wisconsin.

There are four others who could have been classified as being in the mix for, but they never really came close to landing. Edge rusher Marquise Lightfoot‍ (39th) ended up at Miami. Rushing took an official to Notre Dame, but ultimately it wasn’t a fit. He ended up (with a bag, most likely) at Oregon. That blow certainly is softened by having Young in the class.

Wide receiver Ryan Wingo‍ (49th) was always on the fringe as a target for Notre Dame in terms of his true interest. He signed with Texas. The Irish certainly pushed for linebacker Chris Cole‍ (26th), but he ended up signing with Georgia.

Of course Notre Dame fans would have liked to be contenders to land more top-50 prospects in general, but 30 of my list ended up signing with SEC programs. Add in another six who signed with Miami or Clemson and a massive chunk of the list who signed at places who don’t typically compete for recruits with Notre Dame.

Georgia leads the way (again)

Georgia had the most representation with seven in the Fab 50. That was followed by Alabama and Auburn with five each. Texas and Miami were tied with Notre Dame with four.

Ohio State only has three, but that is more reflective of where I slotted some players who signed for them and not the class they brought in. For example, wide receiver Mylan Graham‍ was 51st for me and they have a few others who are in the same tier of prospect as everyone in the Fab 50.

Prospects I am higher on than others

Defensive lineman Jeremiah Beaman‍ (Alabama, 34th) is someone I have loved as a prospect for a long time. I love his potential to play multiple positions up front and be disruptive.

Offensive lineman Daniel Calhoun‍ (42nd) and defensive tackle Nasir Johnson‍ (50th) are two massive human beings who look like future stars to me at Georgia. I think Johnson isn’t quite as athletic as Justin Scott‍ (just missed the cut), but I think he’s a better ball player.

Edge Deshawn Warner‍ (48th, Kansas) has special pass rush traits. I’m excited to watch him develop over the next few years.

A lot of risers

Here’s where 10 of the ISD Fab 50 were ranked by the 247Sports composite rankings one year ago.

Wide receiver Cameron Coleman‍ was in the top-300.

Defensive end LJ McCray‍ was in the top-500 (3-star).

Wide receiver Terrance Moore Jr.‍ was in the top-400.

Defensive lineman Amaris Williams‍ was in the top-400.

Linebacker Chris Cole‍ was in the top-600 (3-star).

Defensive lineman Joseph Jonah-Ajonye‍ was unranked.

Bryce Young‍ was in the top-400.

Defensive back Zavier Mincey‍ was in the top-500 (3-star).

Safety Koi Perich‍ was unranked.

Edge Deshawn Warner‍ was in the top-800 (3-star).

That’s 10 who weren’t anywhere close to being considered top-50 players by the recruiting industry a year ago and look at them now. There’s plenty of other players who were top-200 who made big jumps into this tier as well.

Anyone reacting to a ranking when a player gets offered or even reacting to an offer list when Notre Dame offers is thinking of it the incorrect way. Rankings do matter when it comes to predicting success for individuals and programs. They matter a lot less a year before players end up signing because things can change so drastically.

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