Notre Dame's recruiting breakdown
Notre Dame Recruiting Breakdown
|Matthew Hegarty (Aztec, N.M./Aztec)
Albeit he had only a short amount of time, but after Brian Kelly took the reins at Notre Dame, he didn't really make any big waves on the recruiting trail. As a result, it was tough to say how Kelly -- who has an excellent track record for winning but, due to short stays at his previous two stops, an uncertain track record in recruiting -- would do in the pursuit of prospects. In the midst of a full calendar to recruit at a high-profile program, Kelly is flexing his recruiting muscles by not only landing talent, but also addressing needs.
Notre Dame currently is No. 9 in the class rankings, and part of the reason is that Kelly and his staff have been plucking talent from all over the country, including New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas and Florida, as well as Notre Dame's Midwestern base. Strengthening the defense seems to be a concern and priority for Kelly, because at least half the class is projected to that side of the ball. Plus, some of Kelly's biggest pickups have been on defense, including three top-25 overall defensive ends from the state of Florida: Aaron Lynch (Cape Coral, Fla./Island Coast), Anthony Rabasa (Miami/Columbus) and Clay Burton (Venice, Fla./Venice). All three can get after the quarterback, fit in the Irish's 3-4 defense at either end and play the hybrid outside linebacker role. Notre Dame's secondary also has received some help with two three-star defensive backs. While these additions will make a difference, Kelly needs to find a prospect who can compete for or add depth to the nose tackle position.
The offense hasn't been forgotten, either. Four offensive linemen, led by Hegarty, are on board. He needs to fill out his frame but has the ability to be a very good, well-rounded college tackle. Jordan Prestwood (Plant City, Fla./Plant City) is a good-sized prospect who has limited experience at tackle after spending most of his time at tight end but does show nice upside. Even though there is a new coach in charge, the Irish land another promising tight end in this class. Ben Koyack (Oil City, Penn./Oil City) can stay on the field, contributing as a blocker or a productive target in the passing game.
Craig Haubert is a recruiting coordinator for Scouts Inc. and has more than a decade of coaching experience.