With the Notre Dame football program as the clear-cut top landing spot for DL Braden Fiske, he has chosen NIL and Florida State instead. When it came down to it, the best place for Fiske to prepare for the NFL after one more year in college was South Bend; when NIL got involved, everything changed.
The Irish were one of three teams vying to land Fiske, including FSU and rival USC. It’s the second time in the last two weeks Notre Dame football has lost a coveted recruit to NIL, the other being high school safety Peyton Bowen. With the college football landscape so uncertain, I don’t expect any big changes from Notre Dame on that front anytime soon. For now, the Irish will need to compete with what they offer: a great program and an education second to none.
Fiske was rated the 14th best prospect in the transfer portal according to 247Sports and was the top defensive line prospect. After a tremendous year at Western Michigan, Fiske was looking to help elevate a top program and get more national recognition before heading to the NFL. While all three schools would’ve given Fiske the attention he was looking for, Notre Dame was the only one that would consistently put him on the national stage.
According to numerous sources, the Irish lost to the highest bidder and will now go back to the drawing board. Notre Dame will have to make sure they keep recruiting at a high level because not only high school recruits will be looking for the most possible money. The transfer portal has the Irish at a significant disadvantage, with academics and money working against them.
Notre Dame must find the right type of player out of the portal. Given how difficult it is for undergraduates to transfer to the program, graduate transfers are some of the only players the Irish can offer. With NIL being a significant player in the college football scene, the field is narrowed that much more.
The coaching staff must pivot fast to ensure they have a competitive defensive front next year. Losing some essential pieces on the line make it that much more challenging. It’ll be interesting to see what the team does. They’ll need some massive improvements in-house to stay competitive.