Notre Dame Football: 3 Best recruiting classes under Brian Kelly

Head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Notre Dame football
Cole Kmet of Notre Dame football.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Notre Dame football top recruiting classes under Brian Kelly: Class of 2017

The Class of 2017 just finished their senior year, at least academically. Redshirts from this class, and those using their extra year from the 2020 season, will be back for their fifth year in 2021. In total, this class has now made two College Football Playoff appearances, and they have won at least ten games in every season they have been at Notre Dame.

In total, their record is 43-8, which is borderline unprecedented success, certainly, it’s unprecedented in modern Notre Dame history.

Offensively, many core offensive linemen have come from this class. Robert Hainsey and Aaron Banks have been a part of a dominant offensive line in recent years. Meanwhile, Josh Lugg filled in nicely when injuries became an issue on the offensive line, and will likely start next season.

Of course, those weren’t the only great players to come to the offense in this class. Cole Kmet, now of the Chicago Bears, was the best tight end since Tyler Eifert in South Bend. Avery Davis has seen key reps through the 2020 season, and Jafar Armstrong was a solid depth running back until the emergence of Kyren Williams.

On defense, there were a few three-star recruits in this class who became key players for the Irish. One three-star recruit is set to become a first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. His name is Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.

The talent was deep defensively here, though. Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, Kurt Hinish, and Drew White rounded out an excellent front seven built on the back of three-star recruits. The current kicker, Jonathan Doerer was also a member of this class, but he certainly hasn’t lived up to the bar set by Justin Yoon.

Still, he’s been a key member of the current team that came from this class.