The commitment of Greg Bryant brings Notre Dame closer to finishing out the 2013 class. The remaining number of scholarships available for this class is somewhat of a moving target. There are two spots remaining if no players leave for the NFL and all likely candidates are granted a 5th year.
Who are the recruits that are likely to take those spots? Three recruits seem very likely to select Notre Dame at this point. These players are Tarean Folston, Al-Quadin Muhammad and Max Redfield. If all three decided to come abroad, Notre Dame would have to drop one of the 5th year candidates.
It is likely that Cierre Wood is heading to the NFL. Wood’s mother, Valerie, told the Chicago Tribune back in November that he was “70-30″ towards leaving for the NFL. All indications point to Wood not being in Blue and Gold next season but wearing the colors of one of the 32 teams of Pro Football. Wood’s Twitter activity has given his mother’s comments a significant amount of credence. He stated via social media that the game against Wake Forest would be his “last game” at Notre Dame Stadium and after taking another final exam he would be done with school forever.
If Wood does bolt for the professional ranks, it leaves Notre Dame with three open spots to fill on next year’s roster. As stated before, Notre Dame probably has three names to fill these slots. Then why is Notre Dame still recruiting other players like Deon Hollins, Austin Hooper, Devin Lauderdale and Juwaan Williams. Two words: contingency plans.
All great organizations have contingency plans. Brian Kelly’s staff is no different when it comes to recruiting. There are several things that could occur before National Signing Day. On January 15th, underclassmen must either declare for the NFL Draft or return to school. This probably only affects Offensive Tackle Zack Martin and Defensive Tackle Louis Nix. If these two decide to leave for the NFL then two more spots would open up.
Notre Dame has several visits scheduled for late in January. This allows Brian Kelly and his staff to determine whether or not they have scholarships open after the January 15th deadline. If they do, they will be targeting recruits like Sebastian Larue and Devin Lauderdale. This deadline is why Notre Dame is “backloading” the visits on many of their recruits.
Notre Dame will know where they stand with Tarean Folston, Al-Quadin Muhammad and Max Redfield. All three are scheduled to make announcement at the All-Star Games that they are playing in. Redfield and Folston will make their college choices known at the Under Armour All-American Game on January 4th. Al-Quadin Muhammad has been rumored to be on the slate to make his announcement at the U.S. Army All-American Game. Although, recent events could delay this announcement.
Notre Dame is in an excellent recruiting situation. They have more targets than spots to fill. Their position is one with a lot of equity. Whomever Notre Dame finishes with this year, it can be guaranteed that they will give Notre Dame a very strong finish.