With the 2024 class hosting its first recruiting event of the year, Notre Dame football has been predicted as the landing spot for eight top players. While predictions and even commitments only go so far these days, it’s a good start for the Irish coaching staff this cycle.
The team has already landed a talented group of seven committed players, headlined by CJ Carr, Cam Williams, and Aneyas Williams. They’re looking for a lot more help, though, specifically on defense, and that seems to be the trend on the predictions. Once again, we used the crystal balls from Tom Loy at 247Sports and if you want to learn more about the players specifically, check out Irish Illustrated.
The predicted players for the Irish are Bryce Young, Jerod Smith, Jacob Smith, Styles Prescod, Dorian Brew, Payton Pierce, Brauntae Johnson, and Justin Scott. Bryce Young is a Notre Dame football legacy, with his dad Bryant Young being one of the best defensive linemen to come through the school. At 6’5″ and 240 pounds, Young is currently listed as a linebacker, according to 247Sports. He likely plays along the defensive line in college, specifically edge opposite the Vyper.
Styles Prescod isn’t extremely highly rated but fits the mold Harry Hiestand looks for in his tackles. Tall, athletic, lengthy, and has room to add more weight and strength. Geurby Lambert, a highly ranked 4-star recruit and a top offensive tackle in the class, has nearly identical traits to Prescod, showing a clear trend from Hiestand. While some have taken digs at Hiestand over his recruiting efforts, he consistently turns out top-quality players. Until that stops, I’ll give him a pass to recruit however he sees fit.
Dorian Brew is a top player from the class of 2025 and is well on his way to 5-star status. Though there’s a long way to go in his recruitment, the coaches are doing a great job getting him to see their vision. While he plays mostly wide receiver right now, many schools are recruiting him to be a lockdown corner which will likely be the case from day one.
Twins Jacob and Jerod Smith will both be impact players along the defensive line; there’s no doubt about that. They remind me a lot of the Ademilola twins as one is considered an interior defensive lineman and the other will likely play edge. It remains to be seen how things shake out but both are extremely talented players.
Pierce is a top linebacker out of Texas and currently checks in at 6’1″ and 225 pounds. While he won’t be the tallest linebacker on the field most of the time, he has some solid speed. Per his Hudl profile, Pierce runs a 4.56 40-yard dash time. Speed and athleticism were missing from the group this year; he would significantly boost the defense. Oklahoma is in the running for him and is the perceived leader by the OU insiders. Given him being from Texas, I wouldn’t get too excited about this early prediction.
Brauntae Johnson of Fort Wayne, Indiana, is a local product that could play on either side of the ball in college. Notre Dame coaches are recruiting him to play safety at the next level but if he has his heart set on receiver that won’t stop them from getting him to South Bend. They don’t care where he is in the long run; they think he can be impactful, and getting him to Notre Dame is the first step in that process.
While all these guys would be massive impact players for Notre Dame football, the most significant prediction today was for Justin Scott
Justin Scott out of St. Ignatius in Chicago, is a 247Sports composite 5-star defensive lineman. After losing out on their top DL recruit in the class of 2023, landing Scott should be the top priority for the Irish coaching staff. He would be a difference maker from the moment he steps foot on campus should he end up at Notre Dame.
"“Bends well, gets off the ball quickly and can beat blockers with initial quickness. Closes to the ball with speed as well. For a taller interior defensive lineman, he generally does a good job with pad level and his flexibility helps with that.” – Allen Trieu, National Recruiting Analyst – 247Sports on Scott"
Again, all of these guys are incredibly talented players and prospects. In fact, I expect many of them to keep climbing in the rankings as the year goes on. It’s a long wait until next year’s signing day, and much can change, but Notre Dame football is off and running early. Hopefully they keep the momentum going all year long.