Notre Dame football kills off one big recruiting narrative with Mark Zackery

Notre Dame football shatters recruiting myths with Mark Zackery's commitment, solidifying Mike Mickens' reputation for landing top defensive backs.
Notre Dame football commit Mark Zackery, IV (4) runs the ball out of the backfield.
Notre Dame football commit Mark Zackery, IV (4) runs the ball out of the backfield. / Doug McSchooler/for IndyStar / USA TODAY

The Notre Dame football has to contend with all kinds of narratives on an every day basis. There’s the narrative that the Fighting Irish are the “villains” of the college football world. There’s also the narrative that Marcus Freeman and company aren’t able to recruit certain players.

The latter narrative took a pretty massive hit on Saturday. In fact, one Notre Dame analyst believes that the commitment of Mark Zackery specifically destroyed the narrative that Irish defensive backs coach Mike Mickens can’t get top of the line defensive backs.

Zackery is a defensive back who is well within the Top 100 prospects in the 2025 class according to the top recruiting agencies in the sport. And while it almost certainly helped Notre Dame that he’s from the state of Indiana, his hometown certainly didn’t stop other Power 4 programs from working hard to try and pull him out of the Hoosier state.

Bryan Driskell of Irish Breakdown is one of those who believes that getting Zackery in the mix, and adding him to Dallas Golden - another top defensive back commit in the 2025 class - should put an end the Mickens narrative once and for all.

Notre Dame football kills off an important recruiting narrative with Mark Zackery

The commitment of Mark Zackery to go with Dallas Golden and Cree Thomas gives the Irish its biggest cornerback class since the 2021 group,” Driskell wrote. “And the talent is exceptional. As good as the three previous classes were, the 2025 class is the best yet.”

“Mickens has destroyed the narrative that Notre Dame can't recruit top cornerbacks,” the analyst continued. “It was always a myth, but the program struggled to land top cornerbacks with any kind of consistency, so it's understandable that many fans bought the excuses.”

One of the reasons Notre Dame football is expected to make the playoffs is because of the talent influx that has come in the Marcus Freeman era. It looks like they’re locking down talent for years to come as well. And starting new narratives in the process.