This recruiting cycle appeared to be free of drama for the Fighting Irish but there still may be fireworks in the 2013 class. A lot has changed since Signing Day 2012. The expectations for Notre Dame were low this season. The debate about the Irish surrounded whether or not the Catholic school in Indiana was relevant as a football power. Now, the Irish are ranked #1 in the country and on their way to play the winner of the SEC championship game for the crystal football.
With these changes come shifts in Notre Dame’s ability to recruit big time talent. The Fighting Irish have always had two things: tradition and education. The Irish have a winning tradition but not a recent one. Notre Dame has proven that they can do it on the field. Some big time talents are now listening to Brian Kelly a little more closely than they had before.
These are names that are probably unlikely to end up at Notre Dame but they are in some contact with Coach Kelly and his staff.
The first name is not a new one, Laquon Treadwell. Currently, the Irish are probably still outside of his top five. But getting Treadwell on campus does not seem unlikely. No word has surfaced whether or not he would take an official to South Bend. If he did get on campus for the banquet, he could be persuaded by Irish commitments such as Jaylon Smith.
The second name is an older one, Ty Issac. There are several reports on the internet that Notre Dame is in contact with Issac. Can the Irish flip the USC commitment? It’s possible. Brian Kelly has several angles. First, Notre Dame can offer a winning program and a world class education. Second, the Irish may have a running back problem after the 2012 season. It is expected that Cierre Wood will leave for the NFL. That would mean the Irish would lose their top two rushers from 2012. This leaves Notre Dame with George Atkinson III, Amir Carlisle, Cam McDaniel and Will Mahone. Kelly probably has enough talent in that group not to miss a beat. However, the #2 position at running back is probably up for grabs. Issac could fill the void. He is a 5-star prospect by many different services.
Finally, there are several other names that may be out there for Notre Dame to call on. These are USC commitments who are currently looking around that also hold Notre Dame offers. USC commitment Defensive Tackle Eddie Vanderdoes has been looking around. He recently took a visit to UCLA. He has an offer from Notre Dame. The Irish could use more talent along the line for when Stephon Tuitt and Louis Nix III exit for the NFL. Chris Hawkins has visited Notre Dame, Washington and California. The Fighting Irish are still probably looking for Cornerbacks. Both of these players could be willing to listen to Kelly. He may visit them while he is on the West Coast.