UCLA hired former Oregon and NFL Head Coach to a five-year deal yesterday. This slamdunk hire affects the Notre Dame football program, positively and negatively.
Although Kelly needs to prove that he can make it in Westwood, his presence will undoubtedly harm USC’s monopoly on Los Angeles recruiting. While at Oregon, Kelly brought some of the best football talent to Beaverton, Oregon. Now, with his return to college football after a hiatus in the NFL, the former Eagles and 49ers coach will take away from the Trojan talent-pool.
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This possible talent drain could weaken USC greatly. This is great news for the Fighting Irish. If the Trojans are talent deficient, Notre Dame and Brian Kelly can plan on defeating their rival on an annual basis.
However, the increased recruiting competition in Southern California could also hurt Notre Dame’s roster. Players such as Equanimeous St. Brown, CJ Sanders, Jordan Genmark-Heath and current Linebacker recruit Jack Lamb all could possibly be targets for the Bruins.
Notre Dame is a national brand that depends heavily on California. Of course, Notre Dame could look elsewhere for recruits. However, California has been one of the best spots for Fighting Irish. Currently, only one player from California starts for Notre Dame (Equanimeous St. Brown).
Chip Kelly to pursue Irish LB Commit?
In fact, Great Oak High School product Jack Lamb could be a target for Kelly as he transitions as the Bruins Head Coach. Lamb strongly considered the Bruins initially in the recruiting process. Could Kelly make a late run at Lamb?
Despite Lamb’s close proximity to UCLA, Kelly’s pursuit of Lamb could be affected by new NCAA recruiting rules. FBS recruits can now sign between Dec. 20 and Dec. 22. The Irish may be able to lock up Lamb before Kelly truly has an opportunity to sway his decision. Regardless, Linebackers coach Clark Lea, Defensive Coordinator Mike Elko and Head Coach Brian Kelly must be on high alert.