This isn’t your dad’s Notre Dame football program. Especially when it comes to how recruiting is carried out.
That’s the top message that On3 national college football analyst J.D. Pickell wants you to take away from what he’s saying about the movement that Marcus Freeman has started in South Bend. It’s a movement that had the Irish finish near the top of the rankings in the 2024 class. It’s what will have them finish near the top in the 2025 cycle as well.
Pickell started a recent segment of his show talking about what Freeman is doing recruiting wise. He admitted at first that there are some barriers. But he believes the Notre Dame football head coach is knocking down those barriers.
“I think the overarching headline I’d put on Notre Dame when it comes to how they recruit Marcus Freeman has made Notre Dame cool again. And it’s funny to say that out loud, but I think it’s absolutely true.”
Pickell then went on to talk about how Freeman is a young, energetic head coach who connects well with recruits. He also talked about what the program does on visits. That was underlined during one recent Junior Day when the coaching staff had a little fun with leprechaun costumes. They also had Jerome Bettis in town to help recruit.
Marcus Freeman has made Notre Dame football 'cool again:' Analyst
Pickell is just the latest analyst to echo what others have been saying for a while now. The program’s recruiting efforts have gotten supercharged in the last few years, after initially seeing a bit of a dip.
That’s not to say that the Irish are getting wins every single time. On Sunday, their 2025 class saw a decommitment in CJ May.
Clearly, what the Notre Dame football team is doing is largely working. And national analysts are definitely noticing.