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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

National Recruiting Report | It's Getting Late for Virginia Tech

June 24, 2019

“It’s early.”

That’s one thing that we would always say on Irish Sports Daily when anyone seemed to be worried about recruiting when it was six months or longer away from signing day. I think we’ve finally gotten away from that, though, because early has changed drastically.

It’s June, right after the May evaluation period. This used to be the time to reassess things heading into the summer, but that has changed.

Now June is closing time. It’s time for the last official visits before the dead period. It’s time to get your class setup for the closing run rather than the halfway point it used to be.

It has to be that way because players are coming off the board faster than ever and if a program doesn’t have a good portion of their class committed, it could be very difficult to close out strong for them this cycle.

For the teams currently in the top-25 team for team recruiting rankings, the lowest commitment total is 10. The average number of commitments is 14.6. I know some of these players will de-commit and spots will open back up, but the vacancy at the hotel is approaching capacity for a lot of programs. Boards are shrinking and tough decisions are being made all over the country.

On the other side of the spectrum is a program like Virginia Tech. They are currently last in the ACC in recruiting this cycle. You know what the old response would be to this, but the new reality is that they have to catch up.

They only have four commitments this cycle. Only one of them is ranked in the top-500 recruits and they have zero 4-stars. The previous two classes they signed finished third in the conference, which is not bad when you consider that Clemson and Florida State are in the ACC. It’s not like head coach Justin Fuente has struggled to bring in talent in those other cycles.

But for whatever reason, they are struggling to land commitments at this time and they’re in danger of coming up way short when it’s time for these players to sign.

Maybe it’s the 6-7 season they just finished. Maybe it’s the environment that caused the mass exodus of transfers this offseason. It really doesn’t matter what the cause is. It matters that they are going to have a difficult time fixing the problem with their 2020 recruiting.

There always used to be a sense that if things didn’t go well in recruiting before the season started, programs always had official visits during the fall to help them make up ground. Any notion of that is now dead with spring official visits becoming more and more popular for players who either want to get recruiting over with or want to be in a good position to enroll early.

There might not be any good time to say “it’s early” with recruiting. Teams that think that way could end up like Virginia Tech this year.

On to more stray national recruiting news and thoughts…

- I’ve got good news and bad news for Notre Dame fans.

The bad news is that Georgia isn’t going away anytime soon. They continue to load up with elite talent and just earned a commitment from a top-5 receiver in the class, Marcus Rosemy‍ out of St. Thomas Aquinas (Florida). That makes three Fab 50 commitments for them so far.

The good news is that Notre Dame doesn’t have Georgia on the schedule after this year because, believe it or not, the roster is going to be even scarier with the way they keep bringing in elite prospects.

- With cornerback Clark Phillips‍ committing to Ohio State on Friday, that makes five Fab 50 commitments for them. Maybe that expected dip after Urban left isn’t going to happen after all?

- Michigan doesn’t look like they are going to have anything close to a top class in 2020, but they were able to land one of the top safeties in the nation when Jordan Morant‍ (45 in the Fab 50) committed to them this past weekend.

Morant and Braiden McGregor‍ are two very good prospects, but the other 4-star prospects they have landed in this class aren’t going to scare Ohio State. Even if AJ Henning‍ commits to them as is expected right now, I don’t see it coming close to one of Jim Harbaugh’s better classes since he’s been at Michigan.

- Want to know why it’s a good idea to not wait to dump a lame duck coach? Just look at USC’s recruiting this cycle.

Nine commits (one is a kicker) isn’t a bad number and quarterback Bryce Young‍ is an elite prospect, but out of the eight position players who have pledged to the Trojans this cycle, five of them aren’t ranked in the top-60 at their position.

USC is still USC in the eyes of the best players in California, which means they will land some recruits who don’t care about Clay Helton and will be happy to play for whoever the next coach is. But the depth of the program is taking a big hit and this class is only going to make things worse.

The next coach is going to have some catching up to do with his first full class.

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