The Notre Dame football lost a star commit on Wednesday, as defensive end Keon Keeley has decided to recommit and re-open his recruitment.
The 2023 recruiting class for the Notre Dame football program is one of the best in the country, and most recently, was named the No. 1 overall group in the entire nation. However, that recruiting class took a major hit on Wednesday, as the Irish saw five-star defensive end Keon Keeley de-commit from the program.
Keeley was widely regarded as the No. 1 player in the 2023 class and has been rated as high as top-10 in the country by some publications. 247Sports.com has Keeley as the No. 7-ranked player in the country, and after him being all-Irish for months, the tide has now turned in Alabama’s favor.
The Crimson Tide now has a 92% chance of landing Keeley, with Notre Dame football falling to 8%, so it is clear Keeley is not going to be Irish after all. What does this mean to the program? It is a monster loss of a keystone player who could have been an anchor along this Irish defensive line for years to come.
Notre Dame football losing a potential star in Keeley
Keeley has everything you look for in an elite defensive end, and with the Irish, would have been a cornerstone player that Marcus Freeman would build his defense around. We have seen players thrive at the position in Freeman’s defense, including Isaiah Foskey, who has played his way into being a potential first-round pick in 2023.
Without Keeley, the program takes a major hit, but all is not lost. The 2023 class still is elite and boasts top prospects from all three levels of the defense, including another terrific defensive end in Brenan Vernon. The hope is that the loss of Keeley does not affect other top recruits, as we have seen happen in the past across the country.
The Notre Dame football team named Tyler Buchner their starter this past weekend, and they could be set at the position for a long time.
Keeley was a key part of the 2023 class, and will certainly be missed, but with the way Freeman and his staff have gone about recruiting, this is not a death nail. In the past, this would be devastating to a class brought in by Brian Kelly, but Freeman is recruiting on another level, and the program is going to be fine without him.