Notre Dame has 21 commitments so far in the 2013 class. The number of scholarships available for the 2013 class is anywhere from 19 to 28 players. This number is dependent on how many players return to South Bend in 2013. All-American Tight End Tyler Eifert is an excellent example one of these players. However, he is likely to go. Inside Linebacker Dan Fox is a player who is more likely to come back.
Tyler Eifert, Jake Golic and Tyler Stockton are almost guaranteed to not be back with the team next year. Eifert is project as 1st-2nd round NFL selection in the 2013 draft. He probably will not be able to pass up the opportunity to play in the NFL like he did last year. Jack Golic and Tyler Stockton are not making active contributions to Notre Dame currently. Therefore, they probably will not be invited back. This brings the total to 22 players.
The next group is players who could go either. This group includes Cierre Wood, Zach Martin and Nick Tausch. It is unlikely that all three of these players come back. But, equally as unlikely, they probably all will not leave for the NFL. Wood has shown great potential and will probably test well. However, his problems off the field may be a concern for some NFL scouts. Zach Martin was projected by some as 1st Round pick but has not been on high on many draft boards. He could be helped by returning for another year. Nick Tausch could return but Notre Dame has a competent kicker in Kyle Brindza. The total is now likely between 24 and 25 players.
The next few players are very unlikely to go. Inside Linebackers Dan Fox and Carlo Calabrese will be need to solidify a defense that will miss Manti Te’o next season. Chris Watt is a solid player who should have a player along on the line. He should get an invite to return in 2013.
That leaves Notre Dame with 3 to 4 more players in this class. Notre Dame is looking at signing a Running Back or Wide Receiver, Defensive Linemen or Linebacker and two Defensive Backs (could be one Safety and a Cornerback or two Cornerbacks).
The top candidates right now to be these players are Khalfani Muhammad, Al-Quadin Muhammad, L.J. Moore and Mackensie Alexander. This week, Al-Quadin Muhammad was rumored to have committed to Notre Dame. Of course, more names will pop up along the way. If Notre Dame continues to win games, more prospects will want to come aboard. The question for Brian Kelly will be, “Do I sacrifice one year of Chris Watt for four years of potential on another player?” Obviously this can be answered on how Kelly and his staff feels about the player. In 2013, Notre Dame may be helped by having as many veteran players as possible as the team attempts to make a BCS run.