Oct. 13, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back Cierre Wood (20) signals 6-0 after Notre Dame defeated the Stanford Cardinal 20-13 in overtime at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Impact Freshman #1: Greg Bryant

Slap the Sign has ranked the top 10 Impact “Frosh” in Notre Dame’s 2013 recruiting class. We finish our countdown with RB Greg Bryant, Slap the Sign’s #1 impact freshman.

Greg Bryant

5’10″ 210 lbs


American Heritage School, Delray Beach, Florida

Entering the 2013 season Notre Dame, for the first time under Brian Kelly, had question marks at the running back position. In 2011, Jonas Gray and Cierre Wood created a fantastic one-two punch. In 2012 Wood paired with Theo Riddick for an undefeated season. With Riddick and Wood departing for the NFL, the Irish were left with George Atkinson III and a depth chart of underclassmen. So the Irish counted their blessings when highly touted recruit RB Greg Bryant reached out to Tony Alford and expressed his interest in Notre Dame.

Bryant was a consensus top-50 player and ranked as a five-star prospect by several recruiting services. A physically imposing player with impressive speed and great vision, Bryant can compete immediately on the collegiate level. In Florida he played against some of the top talent in the country and excelled. Bryant was selected for the US Army All-American Bowl and competed at “The Opening”, a Nike invitation only camp for the top prospects in the nation.

Most analysts and fans expect Bryant to slowly work his way into the two deep depth chart and eventually split time with Atkinson III. Bryant has made it clear that he does not intend to redshirt, but time will tell if he can execute Chuck Martin’s offense and jump the likes of Will Mahone and Cam McDaniel. Bryant’s playing time will also depend on his physical and mental development at summer camp and whether his competition has improved or regressed since Notre Dame’s spring game.

Unfortunately for Bryant, Notre Dame followers, in their usual way, have set ridiculously high expectations for the incoming freshman. If Bryant plays to half those expectations fans Notre Dame will have a formidable backfield in 2013. Moreover with Tarean Folston in the fold and 2014 commit Elijah Hood inbound, the future looks exceptionally bright for Notre Dame’s running game.

Top 10 Impact Freshman
1. Greg Bryant
2. Malik Zaire
3. Jaylon Smith
4. Max Redfield
5. James Onwualu
6. Tarean Folston
7. John Montelus
8. Steve Elmer
9. Cole Luke
10. Issac Rochell

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