Notre Dame football staff credited with changing the recruiting game

Marcus Freeman and the rest of his Notre Dame football staff has an analyst talking up how much better recruiting in South Bend is these days.

Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl - Notre Dame v Oregon State
Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl - Notre Dame v Oregon State / Sam Wasson/GettyImages
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Quite a bit of ink has been used to chronicle the successes of the Notre Dame football team’s recruiting efforts, especially for the 2024 and 2025 cycles. That’s because the Fighting Irish have noticeably ramped up recruiting efforts since one Marcus Freeman arrived in town.

One analyst, Bryan Driskell of Irish Breakdown recently wrote about the night and day difference that he’s seen from the Notre Dame football recruiting apparatus since Brian Kelly left South Bend. 

One of the big reasons why Freeman has been able to improve things - according to Driskell - is because Freeman brought Chad Bowden and several other recruiting staff members on board that have supercharged the approach of late.

“Bowden and his staff,” Driskell recently wrote. “Which includes strong up-and-comers in Dre Brown, Carter Auman and Zaire Turner (Director of Recruiting Operations) have brought a lot of juice to the recruiting operation along with Mackenzie Zanow, the Director of On Campus Recruiting.”

The analyst also noticed something that’s been readily apparent of late. Marcus Freeman isn’t allowing the other big boys in the college football world to scare him away. He’s going toe-to-toe with schools like Alabama and Georgia for some of the Irish’s top commits.

Notre Dame football staff credited with changing the recruiting game

Even better than the Irish squaring off against the big boys for top talent, Driskell pointed out that it’s how they’re going after top talent.

Last weekend, the recruiting staff took quite a bit of flack for dressing up like leprechauns to host the school’s first Junior Day of 2024. But the recruits seemed to really like that kind of joking around. Even if those on social media felt it was cringe.

The Notre Dame football staff has also lent a level of seriousness to what they are doing. That’s showing up in their top ranked 2025 class. And it feels like they’re just getting started.