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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

The 2019 ISD Fab 50

February 9, 2018

I know this has been on repeat for some time with Notre Dame fans: the Irish can’t become elite without elite players. That all starts with elite recruiting and that means landing as many top-50 prospects as possible.

USC signed six prospects in the final 2018 ISD Fab 50. Georgia signed nine(!). These are teams that the Irish have to play in the coming years (USC every year and they visit Georgia in 2019). Having to face all of that elite talent is going to be an incredibly difficult challenge and the best way to deal with that is to try and match those programs on the recruiting trail.

That’s going to be nearly impossible to do when it comes to Georgia. In the initial 2019 ISD Fab 50, the Bulldogs already have three committed. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them end up with at least a few more before all is said and done by next February.

It's unrealistic to think Notre Dame is going to duplicate what Georgia is doing when it comes to landing top-50 talent, but the Irish will have an opportunity to do better in this class than they did in ‘18.

They signed three of my top-50 in the last cycle. It would be terrific if they could double that total in this one.

It’s way too early to tell if that will happen, but they’ve had nine of this group already on campus at least once. Three of them (athlete Ronnie Hickman, wide receiver Jake Smith, and tight end Hudson Henry) were just on campus for the most recent Junior Day.

That trio along with big time defensive Zach Harrison, an explosive edge rusher in Brandon Smith, and mauling offensive tackle Quinn Carroll are the prospects that stand out to me that have been to campus and have serious interest in Notre Dame. It’s not going to be easy to land them, but those are the types of impact players Notre Dame needs to sign to get to that next level on the field.

Perhaps more will join that with Notre Dame having offers out to 28 of the 50 and they could offer more down the line. There are also more than a few Notre Dame targets who are on the verge of being top-50 prospects to me that just missed making this initial list. This will be updated and it’s going to be hard for a lot of these players to go the distance and be in the final 2019 Fab 50 because this is class is deep and very talented at several positions.

It’s going to be fun to see how it all shakes out and there will be updates along the way as I get to watch more film, see some of these players compete in person, and, of course. see them grow during their senior year.

The 2019 ISD Fab 50

Notes on the 2019 ISD Fab 50 and the 2019 class as a whole:

- While Georgia has three commits, no one else has more than one. All but eight of the group are uncommitted at this time.

- It’s another strong year at defensive back in my opinion. There are some loaded position groups all over. The defensive line is much stronger this year than it was in 2018. Ditto for the offensive line. Maybe there aren’t many of the stud left tackles near the top of the board, but tackle in general is better.

I like the wide receiver group even if I don’t like anyone as much as I did Amon-ra St. Brown, Justin Shorter, and Terrace Marshall. Including a few two-way options, there are ten that could end up at wide receiver at the next level that are in the 50.

- The quarterback group isn’t even close to what it was last year. That’s not even an opinion. It’s a fact. Only one quarterback made the list (Auburn commit Bo Nix). Maybe that changes later on, but this is the weakest year since I’ve been doing this job. It’s a good thing Notre Dame was able to get an early commitment from Cade McNamara because I don’t see many great ones out there they could turn to if they were still looking.

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