Notre Dame Football: What’s next for the Irish on the recruiting trail?

Brian Kelly (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Brian Kelly (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Notre Dame football staff has been hard at work putting together a 2021 recruiting class. What’s next for the Irish on the recruiting trail?

I recently was somewhat critical of the 2021 recruiting class for the Notre Dame football program, but have been pleasantly surprised with the way the Irish coaching staff was able to gain some momentum in recent weeks. The Irish have added a trio of cornerbacks to add talent and depth to their secondary with the additions of Phillip Riley, Ryan Barnes, and Chance Tucker.

But the Irish aren’t done adding to the defensive side of the ball.

When taking a look at the Irish defensive depth chart, it becomes somewhat apparent that the Irish lack some depth at inside linebacker and at safety.

The Irish aren’t in any type of immediate trouble at either position, as the linebacker position features Drew White, Shayne Simon, and Bo Bauer with two years of eligibility left, along with Jack Lamb with 3 years of eligibility and JD Bertrand, Osita Ekwonu, and Marist Liufau all with 4 years of eligibility remaining. Keep in mind, however, that once Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah heads to the NFL, the Irish will be looking for their new Rover. Paul Moala is currently penciled in as his heir apparent with Jack Kiser also in the mix, but the bottom line is that the Rover position may take away from some of that linebacker depth.

At safety, the Irish seem set in the short term, as Kyle Hamilton has 3 seasons of eligibility left (although he may not be in South Bend that long) and Houston Griffith and Ohio State transfer Isaiah Pryor each have two potential seasons remaining in South Bend, but behind them leaves only DJ Brown with 3 years of eligibility and Litchfield Ajavon with 4 years. The safety position is one that the Irish should look to bolster in the class of 2021.

The Irish have already gained the commitment of Justin Walters at the safety position, but likely will look to add another in the class to add some depth. Adding Titus Mokiao-Atimalala, a two-way athlete from the state of Hawaii, would be the next logical step for Notre Dame.

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In all, the 2021 class is shaping up well, after what I called an underwhelming haul earlier this year. If the Irish are able to add to their defense and bring in perhaps their top remaining target in the class of 2021 — offensive guard Rocco Spindler — it looks as if the Irish will have survived the pandemic just fine.