Notre Dame Football: The rich get richer on National Letter of Intent day

Following college football’s National Letter of Intent signing day last Wednesday, the nation’s elite programs, including Notre Dame, just got a lot better.

When the dust settled following the completion of college football’s national signing day, the landscape of college football didn’t change much, as the rich got richer with the signing of commits. Notre Dame, despite offering fewer scholarships than in recent years, was the beneficiary of a solid recruiting class.

The four top teams who are preparing to play in this year’s College Football Playoff all secured top ten rankings with their 2020 recruiting classes. Top ranked LSU (5th ranked recruiting class), 2nd ranked Ohio State (3rd ranked recruiting class), 3rd ranked Clemson (top ranked recruiting class) and 4th ranked Oklahoma (10th ranked recruiting class) will all receive high level reinforcements from their 2020 commits.

Of the teams that are currently ranked in the top 15 in the nation, only Oregon, Baylor, Wisconsin and Utah did not have top 15 recruiting classes in 2020. As a result, the teams that have been elite this year will likely remain elite due to their recruiting prowess.

Notre Dame, who is currently ranked 15th in the nation, was able to secure the 11th best recruiting class in college football according to 247 sports. The point system that determines the rankings gave the Irish a 257.19 total, which is actually very good, given that the Irish had five to six fewer commits than the top three ranked recruiting classes of Clemson, Alabama and Ohio State.

Irish fans can take comfort in the fact that Notre Dame was able to secure high level talents such as 5-star recruits running back Chris Tyree and wide receiver Jordan Johnson, as well as two 4-star recruits who were borderline 5-star recruits in tight end Michael Mayer and offensive lineman Tosh Baker. In total, the Irish would land commitments from two 5-star recruits, seven 4-star recruits and nine 3-star recruits for their 2020 class.

The average rating for the Irish commits, according to 247Sports, was 0.9066. This is slightly better than the 0.9060 from last year’s recruiting class average rating. However, it lags far behind next year’s recruiting class current average rating of 0.9593, which is a clear indication of why next year’s recruiting class for Notre Dame is currently ranked as the top in the nation.

In comparison, this year’s top ranked recruiting class from Clemson has an average rating of 0.9365 from their class of 23 commits, while 2nd ranked Alabama has an average rating of 0.9348 and third ranked Ohio State has an average rating of 0.9182, who had 26 commits each. Meanwhile, Tennessee had the 15th ranked recruiting class, with an average rating of 0.8888 from its 23 commits.

Given the year that Notre Dame has had so far, one that has seen them ranked in the top 25 throughout the duration of the season, the high recruiting ratings from this 2020 class give reason for optimism. Unfortunately, the elites amongst the ranks of college football have also become exponentially better by signing high level commits.

The success from recent recruiting classes have firmly entrenched the Notre Dame football program amongst the best in the nation, as can be witnessed by the College Football Playoff berth for the Irish last season and a top 15 finish this season. Given the level of success Brian Kelly and his staff have had recruiting the 2020 class and the current projections of what is shaping up to be an elite recruiting class for 2021, the Irish are poised to remain among the ranks of the blue chip programs of college football for the foreseeable future.

The Irish will need to sustain their recruiting successes in future years if they hope to contend, as the result of this year’s recruiting class rankings serve as a clear indication that the rich will continue to get richer when it comes to the elite programs of college football and their recruiting success.