If the Irish can ink all of these players, that would put the icing on the cake of what appears to be a true resurrection of Notre Dame football. Let's take a look.
If you've been a member of Irish Eyes for long you know that I like to look at recruiting in a two-class perspective. But, today, I thought I'd take a look at recruiting in a three-class perspective. These three classes will be the future of Notre Dame football, and judging by the numbers and stars, the future sure looks bright.
5-star: Jimmy Clausen
4-star: Dayne Crist
3-star: Demetrius Jones
Comments: Jimmy Clausen's career has been well documented. His talent and potential are obvious. He enrolled early and many thought he'd grab the torch being passed by the departed Brady Quinn but injury set in. That still very well may happen, but Jones doesn't appear to want to go away quietly, and he also has some play-making ability. The intriguing guy on this list is Crist. I'm a big fan of Dayne Crist. He has as much potential as any quarterback I've seen in many years. Knowing how Weis develops quarterbacks, I definitely wouldn't count Crist out of this race. I would not be surprised in the slightest if he ended up being Notre Dame's quarterback of the future. Regardless, the quarterback position is in excellent shape for the future. I also think it's important to give Weis credit for going after another quarterback this season. Crist's commitment obviously became important with the departure of 4-star prospect Zach Frazer.
5-star: James Aldridge
4-star: Armando Allen, Robert Hughes, Luke Schmidt
Comments: The Irish are well stocked at running back in both numbers and talent with these four players, but many feel another player would be ideal in this class. It would certainly help, and I don't think you can ever have too many quality running backs. Aldridge, Hughes and Schmidt bring the thunder. Allen brings the lightening. I think adding some more lightening would be the most ideal situation for ND in this class. That player would most likely be Carlton Thomas. Adding Thomas would be the perfect compliment to the vast talent already on hand.
4-star: Duval Kamara, Golden Tate, John Goodman
3-star: Rob Parris, Richard Jackson, Barry Gallup, George West
Comments: If there's one position I think Notre Dame needs more talent it would be at wide receiver. I think you'll also see linebacker is another, but wide receiver is the one position where Notre Dame can and should improve. ND clearly has a lot of big bodies with Kamara, Goodman, Parris and Jackson being 6-foot-3 or taller. Tate, Gallup and West add some wiggle and the ability to make people miss, but I don't think you see a true home run hitter at this point, maybe there is a guy and we just don't know it yet. The Irish are in on 5-star Mike Floyd, and 4-star prospects Jonathan Baldwin and Brice Butler. Floyd and Baldwin look the most likely. Notre Dame will have to land at least one to get to the level of talent they have at other positions. I do think there is a lot of talent currently in the list above, but a true home run hitter would also be a nice addition.
5-star: Konrad Reuland, Kyle Rudolph
4-star: Mike Ragone, Joseph Fauria
3-star: Will Yeatman
Comments: Wow is all I can really say. Hard to believe there are two players actually ranked higher than Ragone, but I can certainly see why. Notre Dame has outstanding talent and depth at tight end. You simply can't do better than Notre Dame has over the past three years at tight end. The Irish have a nice mixture of size and speed among these five talented players.
5-star: Sam Young
4-star: Lane Clelland, Matt Romine, Taylor Dever, Bartley Webb
Comments: Once again, the Irish are loaded with both talent and numbers at offensive tackle. Young has clearly entrenched himself into one starting position for the near future. The Irish have four outstanding prospects for the other position as well, and plenty of talented depth for an impressive two-deep.
4-star: Emeka Nwankwo, Matt Carufel, Chris Stewart, Eric Olsen
3-star: Mike Golic, Jr.
Comments: Carufel and Olsen have already established themselves as solid contributors at offensive guard. Notre Dame also has plenty of talent behind them as well as some tackles who might move to guard if they emerge as elite players. The Irish could probably use another guard prospect in this class. Trevor Robinson or Kenneth Page would be a nice addition.
4-star: Dan Wenger, Braxston Cave
Comments: Wenger has already established himself as an elite lineman for the Irish. He'll battle for the starting right guard spot this fall, and many feel he'll slide right in for the departing John Sullivan next season. Cave brings the same kind of nastiness that Wenger is known for. The Irish appear set here as well. Once again, Notre Dame's offensive line looks very solid for the future, both in talent and numbers.
4-star: Omar Hunter, Brandon Newman
3-star: Ian Williams
Comments: Notre Dame has landed both talent and size here as well as numbers. Three big, quick and nasty guys who love to play inside. Notre Dame hasn't had this kind of talent and depth inside in quite some time.
5-star: Ethan Johnson
4-star: Sean Cwynar, Kallen Wade,
3-star: Hafis Williams, Paddy Mullen, John Ryan, Andrew Nuss
Comments: Johnson was such an important recruit for the Irish because he'll fit perfectly for this 3-4 look defense. Why was he important? Because he'll be the perfect compliment to players like Cwynar and Williams on the other side. Notre Dame also has a lot of flexibility at the position because of the numbers here. Mullen, Ryan and Nuss could all play a number of positions for the Irish. I have moved Ryan here because I feel he'll eventually grown into the position. The Irish have plenty of numbers and talent along the defensive line. When was the last time Irish fans could say that?
4-star: Anthony McDonald
3-star: Toryan Smith, Aaron Nagel, Steve Paskorz, David Posluszny
Comments: McDonald was obviously an important commitment in this class, as was Posluszny. Both players show excellent instincts and quickness to the ball. Smith has already shown that he has the talent to play at Notre Dame. Both Nagel and Paskorz certainly have the athletic ability, but both will have a learning curve coming into Notre Dame this fall. Again, the Irish have numbers here. They also have some quality athletic ability. I do believe Notre Dame will need another linebacker in this class.
4-star: Kerry Neal, Darius Fleming
3-star: Brian Smith, Morrice Richardson
Comments: I'm a huge Kerry Neal fan, and I bet he sees the field a lot this fall. The move to the 3-4 look will most definitely help a guy like Richardson, who was known more as a tweener in the 4-3 defense. Both Smith and Fleming are very productive football players with excellent athletic ability.
The Irish have numbers at linebacker, and they have a lot of guys who can run. They also have some very good football players in this group. I do think adding at least one more is important. Five-star Steve Filer and four-star Etienne Sabino would be perfect additions to this already talented group. What ND needs to find is four guys who can run, have great instincts, and are great football players. They'll easily find that, but can they field an outstanding two-deep with this group? Another one or two commitments from elite players would assure that.
4-star: Sergio Brown, Harrison Smith
3-star: Jashaad Gaines
Comments: If the Irish land McCarthy today, that would give the Irish three 4-star prospects at safety. Both Brown and Smith are excellent athletes in the David Bruton mold. Both have very bright futures if they can grasp the defense. Gaines has excellent size and also is a fine athlete. Once again, the Irish are loaded at safety providing McCarthy signs.
4-star: Darrin Walls, Leonard Gordon, Raeshon McNeil, Gary Gray, Jamoris Slaughter, Robert Blanton.
3-star: Munir Prince
Comments: I cannot ever remember Notre Dame having anywhere near this much talent at corner in the many years I've followed Notre Dame football. I'm not certain all will end up staying at corner, but there is no excuse for the Irish not to have an excellent secondary in the very near future.
If you are keeping track, the Irish should have at least one four-star prospect to line up at every position on the field in the near future. In most positions, the Irish will also have at least a four-star prospect to back up the starter based on these recruiting rankings. It's quite obvious the Irish will have both plenty of talent and depth for the future.
So far the Irish will have 62 players signed in the past three classes (providing all committed sign in February). Out of those 62, 41 are/were ranked as 4-star players or higher. That is quite impressive. Notre Dame could have as many as six more commitments on the way, all of which are likely to be 4-star or higher players.
The only question that remains is what the coaching staff will do with this talent. I'd say the future looks very bright.