Expect a combined four more Power players by National Signing Day, giving the Irish a Kelly-era record nine power players in the 2014 class.
2014 -- Breakdown by ProfileIncluding all nine prospective 5th-year players but with the notable exception of 2013 senior Louis Nix, 78 of Notre Dame's 85 available scholarships for 2014 are occupied. The 2014 roster is broken down by position within Kelly's three recruiting profiles below. (An * affixed to a player's name indicates an extra season of eligibility beyond his class status):
Power (26)As noted above, not listed with prospective 5th-year players is Louis Nix. Assuming good health, Nix is set to graduate with his class and will enter the 2014 NFL Draft.
Pleged/Incoming Freshmen (5): Quenton Nelson (OT/OG), Sam Mustipher (OG/C), Jimmy Byrne (OT/OG), Jay Hayes (DL), Andrew Trumbetti (DL)
Power Notes: Lombard is a lock to return for 2014...Tuitt is a potential early entry candidate for the NFL Draft. Should Tuitt leave, Utupo could be asked back to augment veteran depth…Hounshell's career is at a medical crossroads following a third surgery on his right shoulder…Heggie's potential return to the O-Line (also for depth) would be pending the number of 2014 OL pledges and any attrition at the position between now and next spring…
Big Skill (19)A well-tiered roster with the exception of the now 13-player 2012 recruiting class. Even at its full strength on Signing Day (17), the group included only one Big Skill Profile player, Romeo Okwara.
Juniors (1): Romeo Okwara (OLB)
Big Skill Notes: In good health, Welch will be asked back and return for a fifth season in 2014. Moore, on the other hand, will need to show well as a reserve during the 2013 season or at least make himself known on special teams, units on which he showed great potential in 2011 (then seemed to regress last fall)…Bryant and Folston were officially listed as Big Skill signees for this cycle (while, for example 2011 running back recruit Will Mahone was instead listed at the Skill profile.)
Skill (31)Of the group below, seven switched positions under the Kelly regime: Collinsworth (WR to S), Massa (QB to WR), Farley (WR to S), McDaniel (RB to CB to RB), Russell (RB to CB), Shumate (CB to S), and Prosise (S to LB to S to WR). Not included in that total is 2013 graduating senior Bennett Jackson (WR to CB), who exhausts his eligibility this season.
Incoming Freshman (1): Justin Brent (WR)
Skill Notes: Barring the signing of two quarterback prospects for 2014, I expect Andrew Hendrix to be asked to return -- and accept -- a fifth season in South Bend…Lo Wood and Austin Collinsworth are locks to return assuming they stay healthy after missing 2012 due to injury…The a door opened recently thanks to defections by 2012 signees Davonte' Neal and Justin Ferguson, Massa will need to make his presence felt in 2013 to return as Notre Dame will next season have eight wide receivers on scholarship, not including any more signed between today and February 2014…
2014 Specialists (2) and notes: Senior Kyle Brindza (K/P), and Junior Scott Daly (LS). Should he win the full-time job, 2013 preferred walk-on freshman punter Andrew Antognoli could claim a scholarship spot for 2014…Fellow incoming freshman and preferred walk-on kicker John Chereson is unlikely to beat out Brindza this year or next for the starting place-kicker duties, thus limiting his chances for a scholarship as an underclassmen...