Notre Dame football has one target that could help immensely with in-state efforts

Notre Dame football has suffered some interesting in-state recruiting losses by one edge rusher could help turn it around quickly.
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Notre Dame football is just one of the teams in the larger Fighting Irish athletic department that needs to get better at in-state recruiting, surprisingly. That’s especially the case when looking at the gut punch they just took in the form of the loss of JonAnthony Hall, a 4-star receiver that seemed high on Marcus Freeman and company right up until he committed to the Stanford Cardinal.

If the Irish want to turn around their in-state recruiting and get it back on the successful track it was when they hauled in Mark Zackery, there is definitely one player that is probably the best name to start the turnaround on.

One big name to keep an eye on when trying to gauge how the Notre Dame football team is doing for in-state recruiting is in the 2026 class. Indianapolis (Ind.) Warren Central pass rusher Jerimy “JJ” Finch could be a bellwether.

Notre Dame football has bellwether target for in-state recruiting in JJ Finch

If you do look at Finch as a sign of a win for in-state recruiting, then it appears things are indeed turning around. After Finch visited South Bend multiple times this spring, he doesn’t have any school visits planned for the summer or fall. At least not yet.

College coaches were able to start officially calling Finch and really ramping up pursuit of the 2026 class on June 15. The 3-star edge rusher said he got a ton of calls. Among the teams that have offered outside of Nore Dame are Oklahoma, Indiana, Louisville and Michigan.

However, according to On3, the Golden Domers are looking like the runaway favorites for now. 

Getting JJ Finch to campus for a game this fall is important. Notre Dame football appear to be a very early front runner for the in-state star, and have a chance to ride momentum in this recruitment.