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Five different recruiting classes filled Notre Dame’s roster last season, but one dominated in production. That could be the case again this season. Here’s a numerical rundown of where the stats come from within the Irish lineup.

When Notre Dame signed Jaylon Smith and the Class of 2013, the talent coming to South Bend was billed as among the nation’s best. While that group has not led the Irish into the College Football Playoff or to a major bowl, it has led the program.

Irish Illustrated crunched the numbers within Notre Dame’s roster to figure out where the production, starts, yards, tackles and touchdowns are coming from by class.  Sixty-six different players, including two transfers and five walk-ons, saw action last season. Nearly a third of those players were sophomores, with the Class of 2013 leading Notre Dame in games played (208) and starts (101).

Of the 23 players Notre Dame signed in its sophomore class, only two didn’t see the field last season: Mike Heuerman and Rashad Kinlaw, who transferred last off-season.

Just 11 members of the Class of 2012 saw action but that group led the team in games played per player (10.6) and starts per player (6.7). That haul had lost five to transfer and missed the suspended KeiVarae Russell.

Only three members of the Class of 2010 saw action but that group, which included Christian Lombard, finished second on the team with 5.3 starts per player. Lombard started 11 games in 2014.

It shouldn’t surprise that the sophomore class recorded the most starts and games played. It earned the highest overall recruiting ranking from Scout.com. The Irish ranked fifth in the nation that cycle, followed by the Class of 2014 (sixth), Class of 2011 (seventh), Class of 2012 (16th) and Class of 2010 (19th).

The sophomores featured Will Fuller, who led the team with 1,094 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns, and Tarean Folston, the team’s leading rusher with 889 yards. The group led the team in touchdowns scored (33) and tackles (327).

The Class of 2013 finished second to the Class of 2011 in total offensive yards, 4399-3589. But Everett Golson accounted for 3,445 of those yards credited to his class, meaning the rest of that haul totaled just 144 yards.

The Class of 2012 finished third in total offensive yards thanks to C.J. Prosise and Chris Brown who recorded a total of 642 and 553 yards, respectively.

The Class of 2013 dominated in total tackles with 327. The Class of 2012 finished second with 200 and the Class of 2014 finished with 152.

Former five-star recruit Jaylon Smith, a member of the Class of 2013, led the team with 112 tackles and classmate Max Redfield was second with 68.

Overall, the Class of 2013 was the most productive with a total of 3,589 yards, 33 touchdowns and 327 tackles. The Class of 2012 recorded team-highs in games played per player and starts per player. It also finished in the top three in total offensive yards and was second in defensive production.

The best news for Irish fans, most of that production returns in 2015.

CHART:

 

GAMES

STARTS

G/P

S/P

YARDS

TD

TACKLES

2010

29

16

9.7

5.3

0

0

36

2011

125

59

10.4

4.9

4399

14

77

2012

117

74

10.6

6.7

1195

4

200

2013

208

101

9.9

4.8

3589

33

327

2014

114

11

9.5

0.9

0

0

152

TR

23

17

11.5

8.5

355

3

36

WO

29

8

5.8

1.6

0

0

66

GAMES=Total number of games played by recruiting class
STARTS=Total number of starts by recruiting class
G/P=Games played per player
S/P=Starts per player
YARDS=Total number of offensive yards gained by recruiting class
TD=Total number of touchdowns scored by class (does not include passing TDs)
TACKLES=total number of tackles by recruiting class.


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