Meet The Class: Offense

How did Notre Dame get all this star power? Here’s the recruiting backstory.

QUARTERBACK

Recruiting Rewind:

A Mike Sanford connection got Notre Dame into this race after the Irish missed on bigger names. Sanford targeted Book at Boise State but couldn’t follow through after moving to South Bend. Book committed to Washington State in April instead, but when Notre Dame came calling he made a summer flip.

RUNNING BACK

Recruiting Rewind:

A power back that Autry Denson liked from the moment he took the job, Jones committed at Junior Day in March and never wavered. The Irish haven’t hit at IMG Academy much, but Jones represents a quality first strike. He could be a bit player immediately in short yardage if the Irish need to specialize.

Recruiting Rewind:

McIntosh had Notre Dame, West Virginia and Miami in the mix early, but the Irish moved to the front of the pack after an October official visit. Having Autry Denson coach the position and recruit Florida helped. McIntosh could be an Amir Carlisle type in time, a slot receiver with running back instincts.

RECIEVER / TIGHT END

Recruiting Rewind:

Notre Dame beat Michigan and Oregon for Claypool’s commitment at The Opening in July, grabbing a massive athlete with even bigger potential. Claypool accounted for 32 touchdowns during his senior year and had his vertical jump measured at 46 inches. There’s a lot for Notre Dame to mold.

Recruiting Rewind:

One of Notre Dame’s top targets from the start, the Irish landed McKinley at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, beating out Oregon and Washington. But the bigger win was over USC, which slow played McKinley early. Notre Dame took advantage and added another big body to the receiving corps.

Recruiting Rewind:

The early enrollee had an odd recruitment, with offers listed from LSU and Florida. In the end, Notre Dame landed him at the Irish Invasion and it’s not entirely clear who finished second in terms of real options. Regardless, Stepherson is a developmental athlete who might need time to grow into a college receiver.

OFFENSIVE LINE

Recruiting Rewind:

Who hasn’t announced a major life decision by pulling a bus? Boudreaux did when he picked Notre Dame over Clemson and Oklahoma (in addition to nearly 70 other offers), winning social media with the commitment video. He’ll be a guard for the Irish and will likely need time to develop, which is standard.

Recruiting Rewind:

One of Notre Dame’s earlier commitments, the Irish beat Ohio State head-to-head for Eichenberg last spring and never had to worry about this pledge. Harry Hiestand locked this up early by playing the Zack Martin card, which is always effective with Midwest prospects with Notre Dame connections.

Recruiting Rewind:

Notre Dame’s first commitment in the class was the top-ranked one entering National Signing Day. While most Top 50 prospects will challenge for starting jobs next fall, Kraemer is likely to red shirt barring injury to Notre Dame’s veterans. The Irish beat the Buckeyes for Kraemer, who Urban Meyer coveted.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Recruiting Rewind:

The Irish wanted a long snapper and landed Shannon during spring practice. While he had offers from West Virginia and Army, this was an easy pickup for Notre Dame. The U.S. Army All-American will undergo shoulder surgery this spring and red-shirt come fall, then take over for Scott Daly in 2017.

 


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