The Notre Dame football team may have had their struggles in big games as of late, but they are closing the gap between them and the elites.
This offseason, the Notre Dame football team had to replace Clark Lea as their defensive coordinator, this after he got offered the head coaching job at his alma mater, Vanderbilt. With a vacancy at the defensive coordinator spot, Brian Kelly wanted only one man to come in and fill the role, and that was then-Cincinnati defensive coordinator, Marcus Freeman.
Known for his reputation for recruiting, as well as his elite coaching skills, Freeman would prove to be the perfect addition to this Irish class, and he has already made his presence felt. The recruiting season has felt a bit different with Freeman in the fold and based on the talent coming in for 2022 and 2023, the Irish are closing the gap between them and the elite programs in college football.
Sure, Notre Dame football is a premier program in college football, but we are talking about the likes of Clemson, Alabama, and Ohio State, teams that consistently are battling for national titles. For Notre Dame, they just have not been on that level, looking overmatched in big games, but that trend could be coming to an end.
Notre Dame football recruiting classes loading up
Currently, Notre Dame has the No. 1 recruiting class for the 2022 cycle according to Rivals, as they have already inked 15 four-star talents. Some of those players could end up being five-stars before all is said and done, and in 2023, the Irish have already landed a five-star guy in Ohio defensive end Brenan Vernon.
Looking at the young players on the current roster, and the collection of talent coming in, there is no reason why this program won’t be legitimate title contenders shortly. They have the staff, and the talent to get it done, and recruiting as a member of the Notre Dame staff has to have more perks for Freeman than it did at Cincinnati.
The Notre Dame football team saw three of their players land within ESPN's top-100 players in 2021, including the No. 7 overall player in the ranking.
Overall, the Irish will be an interesting team to watch this season, as some believe they will take a step backward, while others think they could be one of the four final teams standing once again. The 2021 roster has All-American talent on both sides of the ball and looking ahead, the Irish are a team not to be taken lightly, no matter the opponent.