With Signing Day Approaching, let’s have a look at how many spots the Fighting Irish have to fill.
For the remainder of the month, the Fighting Irish coaching staff will be visiting many recruits left on their board. They will also be hosting some on campus for official visits.
With huge needs along the defensive line, at defensive back and certainly at wide receiver, how many more recruits can they take?
So far, Brian Kelly and Co. have received verbal commitments from 15 recruits. This is a relatively small class as of now.
The current roster includes 64 players. There will be 17 seniors, 22 juniors, 23 sophomores and 2 confirmed 5th year players – Mike McGlinchey and Durham Smythe.
This brings the count to 79 with the current commits included. The maximum is 85, a number Notre Dame falls short of year after year.
One thing to be discussed is three possible 5th year candidates.
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Hunter Bivin was a solid depth offensive lineman in ’16. These types of 5th year players are very important for depth, leadership, insurance, flexibility and practice purposes. Look for Bivin to be asked to be a part of the 2017 Fighting Irish.
Jacob Matuska is another 5th year candidate. Matuska saw less than a dozen snaps last season. With the depth at tight end being what it is and two All-American tight-ends starting their careers in South Bend, Matuska will most definitely not be back.
Colin McGovern started most games at right guard last year. He suffered injuries once again, something that he has had issues with his whole career.
With talented lineman Tristan Hoge and former 5 star Tommy Kraemer looking for a spot on the right side, not to mention the possibility of Alex Bars moving to guard, I don’t expect McGovern to be back in ’17.
If Bivin does take a 5th year, the scholarship count will be at 80. That would leave 5 spots for ’17 recruits.
With many official visits taking place in January and the coaching staff working hard at flipping commits to Notre Dame, the near future is going to be very interesting and exciting for the Fighting Irish.