With all the recent news on Eddie Vanderdoes and his potential decommitment from the University of Notre Dame, I know Irish fans, at least in the back of their minds, are wondering if there is something wrong with the way Brian Kelly recruits or treats his players; or are recruits simply turned off by Notre Dame. If you look at the last three recruiting classes, the highest rank recruit has either transferred or decommitted from the university. Below I have listed those recruits and their rankings:
Aaron Lynch (Transfer 2011) – 5-star
Davonte Neal (Transfer 2013) – 5-star
Gunnier Kiel (Transfer 2013) – 5-star
Justin Ferguson (Transfer 2013) – 4 star
Tee Shepard (Decommit 2012) – 4 star
Ronald Darby (Decommit 2012) - 4 star
Deontay Greenberry (Decommit 2012) – 4 star
Since Brian Kelly has taken over at Notre Dame, he has asked each enrollee to “buy-in”, not just to his football program, but to the University of Notre Dame. Kelly has asked his players to be athletes and students, as proven by the fact that in 2012 Notre Dame Football was ranked No. 1 in graduation rate. However, the “buy-in” process requires dedication and sometimes sacrifices (i.e. stringent academic standards, community assistance requirements and home sickness). Perhaps the aforementioned recruits simply did not want to “buy-in”, not because they are midguided or lazy. Sometimes the shoe just doesn’t fit.
In the end, those who decide to “buy-in” will develop under the tutelage of Kelly and his staff into strong, intelligent football players (see Louis Nix); but more importantly they will mature into confident and driven young men. So don’t worry Irish fans, Notre Dame recruiting is right where it needs to be.