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2022 LB Class


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Given that ND's top 3 recruits in the 2022 class are all LBs. Did ND just get lucky with regards to linebacker recruits?

On a different board, someone posted:  I guess the linebacker class nationally is full of 4.0 GPA kids who love cold weather and are asexual, since those are the only people who'd choose ND and why we're constantly not in the top-10 in recruiting.

Or is it possible that a coach (i.e. Freeman) can actually make a difference in terms of recruiting? Too bad that ND has not had someone like him leading the recruiting effort for both offense and defense since 2010. Just imagine if Kelly had recruited like Freeman for the past decade instead of settling for Top 15 classes.

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I won’t get into all that other stuff you wrote but I will say this has always been my complaint with Kelly. Many have just accepted the fact that ND can’t do better and this is the best it can get. That ND only can get 25percent of the top 100 or whatever it was. I can agree with that. But what I can’t agree with is the fact that ND can’t recruit the top 150 better. Those guys just outside the top 100 are just as good and important.
Also, if that is the crutch, then there’s no reason that ND can’t land the top 5 at every position to help with being able to recruit the top 100. They should be able to land the 5-7 best wr in the nation or the 5-7 best corner etc. every year. Not  the 10th best wr who is 350th or whatever. 
That’s where ND was in the past I believe. Now they are doing a lot better. And with the NIL, ND should be able to land a solid top 5 qb soon. 

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I am glad that ND recruiting is on the upswing. Whether or not it is due solely to Freeman or that hiring Freeman is the result of a new focus on the importance of recruiting and of hiring assistant coaches who excel at recruiting I am not sure.

 

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I think Pete Sampson from The Athletic had an article recently (might have even been about Sneed's commitment) where he basically said that after BK's first few years of having trouble with elite level guys fitting in at ND (Aaron Lynch, Tee Shepard, Davonte Neal, etc.), he over-corrected and just looked for ND fits first. Now, with Freeman on board, they are recruiting elite level guys first and then seeing if they are ND fits, if that makes sense. For example, Sneed was a guy the previous staff had almost no contact with, but when Freeman came on board, ND became a contender (mostly because he had a relationship with Sneed's HS head coach, but even without that, Sneed is a guy Freeman would target because of his talent, even though he is probably not a typical ND recruit due to location, high school, not having any ND connections already, etc.).

I know you're not a BK fan, and I'm usually on the opposite side. But the two CFP appearances have made it painfully obvious that ND does not have enough elite level talent to win a National Title. I do think the concerns over the offense are a little overplayed. In the 2020 class, ND signed four Top 100 players and all played offense (TE, WR, RB, OL). In 2021, the five highest ranked players played offense (OL, OL, QB, WR, WR).  Now, they definitely need more elite talent on offense - they need to bring in 2-3 Top 100 skill players every cycle to really have a chance against Alabama, Clemson, etc. They also need a stud QB. I like Buchner a lot, but ND needs a guy like Trevor Lawrence to win a National Title because an elite QB makes that much of a difference in today's game.

C.J. Williams and Tobias Merriweather will go a long way to getting ND closer to the elites in terms of offensive talent. 

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There are a lot of eggs being placed by Kelly in the Buchner basket. If you look at other CFP schools, they are bringing in Buchner like talent (or better) almost every year. As a result, their margin for error at the QB position is greater than ND's.

ND needs to consistently recruit elite talent on both O and D talent to compete. Not just on O one year and D the next. Freeman has shown that some of the widely used excuses for the lack of Top 5 recruiting at ND ring hollow.

Just imagine the ND roster with one or two more players like Mayer or Fisher and one or two more players like Hamilton.

Hopefully, that type of talent is coming.

 

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3 hours ago, tneun89 said:

I think Pete Sampson from The Athletic had an article recently (might have even been about Sneed's commitment) where he basically said that after BK's first few years of having trouble with elite level guys fitting in at ND (Aaron Lynch, Tee Shepard, Davonte Neal, etc.), he over-corrected and just looked for ND fits first. Now, with Freeman on board, they are recruiting elite level guys first and then seeing if they are ND fits, if that makes sense. For example, Sneed was a guy the previous staff had almost no contact with, but when Freeman came on board, ND became a contender (mostly because he had a relationship with Sneed's HS head coach, but even without that, Sneed is a guy Freeman would target because of his talent, even though he is probably not a typical ND recruit due to location, high school, not having any ND connections already, etc.).

I know you're not a BK fan, and I'm usually on the opposite side. But the two CFP appearances have made it painfully obvious that ND does not have enough elite level talent to win a National Title. I do think the concerns over the offense are a little overplayed. In the 2020 class, ND signed four Top 100 players and all played offense (TE, WR, RB, OL). In 2021, the five highest ranked players played offense (OL, OL, QB, WR, WR).  Now, they definitely need more elite talent on offense - they need to bring in 2-3 Top 100 skill players every cycle to really have a chance against Alabama, Clemson, etc. They also need a stud QB. I like Buchner a lot, but ND needs a guy like Trevor Lawrence to win a National Title because an elite QB makes that much of a difference in today's game.

C.J. Williams and Tobias Merriweather will go a long way to getting ND closer to the elites in terms of offensive talent. 

i'm with you. Lynch Greenberry Shepard, Neal. Kelly was trying the elite route, they didn't pan out so he went the Stanford route. ND fans want more, gotta swing big he's gonna miss some, but thats recruiting.

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12 hours ago, FaithInIrishForever said:

i'm with you. Lynch Greenberry Shepard, Neal. Kelly was trying the elite route, they didn't pan out so he went the Stanford route. ND fans want more, gotta swing big he's gonna miss some, but thats recruiting.

Faith, I think you really sum things up nicely. Kelly went Stanford plus and some fans (me included) want at least Alabama minus.

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15 minutes ago, jbrown_9999 said:

Faith, I think you really sum things up nicely. Kelly went Stanford plus and some fans (me included) want at least Alabama minus.

I don’t even want Alabama minus. All I know is that ND could of done better. As I kept saying in the past, Weis was able to do it. Now all of the sudden we couldn’t. BS. 
I get that you can get burned. And at that time, Nd had way too many holes to keep getting burned. But after about the 6th year you got to go back to trying. That first Bama beat down should of shown BK that.  
Maybe getting Sneed will change who ND targets a little more. 

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2 hours ago, coltssb said:

I don’t even want Alabama minus. All I know is that ND could of done better. As I kept saying in the past, Weis was able to do it. Now all of the sudden we couldn’t. BS. 
I get that you can get burned. And at that time, Nd had way too many holes to keep getting burned. But after about the 6th year you got to go back to trying. That first Bama beat down should of shown BK that.  
Maybe getting Sneed will change who ND targets a little more. 

I love that Weis showed you can recruit well at ND after Ty's lazy BS, but if you think Weis was a better recruiter than Kelly, you're crazy.  Kelly does a better job of getting high level talent, but AT WORST, he's the same as Weis.  Weis' problem was getting talent that had already reached its ceiling.  I think Kelly does a great job of getting players who can still grow.

I think the context of putting Weis next to Ty inflates how well Weis was doing compared to Kelly.  Weis did a great job of refilling the cupboard after Ty put us on self-imposed probation by only signing 15 guys in a class of 25, if not less.  Technically, Davie laid all the groundwork for Ty's first class if we really want to split hairs on the awful job that guy did.

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53 minutes ago, coltssb said:

I don’t even want Alabama minus. All I know is that ND could of done better. As I kept saying in the past, Weis was able to do it. Now all of the sudden we couldn’t. BS. 
I get that you can get burned. And at that time, Nd had way too many holes to keep getting burned. But after about the 6th year you got to go back to trying. That first Bama beat down should of shown BK that.  
Maybe getting Sneed will change who ND targets a little more. 

I really do think that a lot with regards to recruiting was due to Kelly never being at a big time program as either a player or coach before ND. He never worked as an assistant above the Div II level so had to teach himself how to recruit at the Div I level.

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4 hours ago, irishwavend said:

I love that Weis showed you can recruit well at ND after Ty's lazy BS, but if you think Weis was a better recruiter than Kelly, you're crazy.  Kelly does a better job of getting high level talent, but AT WORST, he's the same as Weis.  Weis' problem was getting talent that had already reached its ceiling.  I think Kelly does a great job of getting players who can still grow.

I think the context of putting Weis next to Ty inflates how well Weis was doing compared to Kelly.  Weis did a great job of refilling the cupboard after Ty put us on self-imposed probation by only signing 15 guys in a class of 25, if not less.  Technically, Davie laid all the groundwork for Ty's first class if we really want to split hairs on the awful job that guy did.

I’ve had this discussion many times before so I won’t get into it to much. 
But you defeated your own argument. By claiming Weis recruited with an empty cupboard where BK came in with an at least half cupboard speaks volumes to who was better.  Weis had to restock. BK had to keep it going. Imagine if Weis already had an offensive line or one with depth. Or for that matter any type of depth anywhere. Maybe he could of recruited more 3 star projects and build depth. But he didn’t have the luxury of ten years to build depth. He had to go after the big fish first and hope later he could build depth. 
the fact that in year 11 that we are praising BK for getting a player like Sneed is crazy. 
Now I know you’ll bring up Mayer, a bunch of o-linemen, and Jaylon(1 hour/30 mins away) about BK recruiting 5 star talent. Those guys are usually ranked top 70-100. Weis was grabbing top 25 overall guys yearly.  
BK is the better coach. Weis was the better recruiter. 

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11 hours ago, coltssb said:

I don’t even want Alabama minus. All I know is that ND could of done better. As I kept saying in the past, Weis was able to do it. Now all of the sudden we couldn’t. BS. 
I get that you can get burned. And at that time, Nd had way too many holes to keep getting burned. But after about the 6th year you got to go back to trying. That first Bama beat down should of shown BK that.  
Maybe getting Sneed will change who ND targets a little more. 

Weis' classes weren't as good as Kellys. He didnt recruit the lines well. He didnt recruit defense that well. His classes were overrated and scouting wasnt as good back then.

 

The first Bama beat down I think we had our best class if I remember correctly.  Jaylon Smith class. 

 

Kellys classes have been really good.  Could have been a little better though in some areas and some guys.  

 

This class is another good class but won't be top 5. But another really good class

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Posted (edited)

For the umptieth time, Kelly has basically recruited Top 15 while at ND. Sometimes he gets a class around 10 and sometimes one closer to 20. Perhaps that fits your definition of "really good".  BTW, it's sad that we have to go back to 2012/13 for Kelly's best class. Somehow, one would have hoped that he would have had an upward (not downward) trajectory for recruiting over his decade plus stint as HC.

There is light at the end of the tunnel that, after 11-12 years and multiple beat-downs by the other regular CFP teams, Kelly finally woke up and realized that he needs Top 5 classes to compete and he is actually trying to get those type of classes. One could give him the benefit of the doubt and say that hiring Freeman was all part of a master plan to get better classes or, perhaps, Kelly simply lucked out. In any case, ND is now going after and getting elite talent that Kelly had previously passed on since Diaco left and before Freeman joined.

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7 hours ago, coltssb said:

I’ve had this discussion many times before so I won’t get into it to much. 
But you defeated your own argument. By claiming Weis recruited with an empty cupboard where BK came in with an at least half cupboard speaks volumes to who was better.  Weis had to restock. BK had to keep it going. Imagine if Weis already had an offensive line or one with depth. Or for that matter any type of depth anywhere. Maybe he could of recruited more 3 star projects and build depth. But he didn’t have the luxury of ten years to build depth. He had to go after the big fish first and hope later he could build depth. 
the fact that in year 11 that we are praising BK for getting a player like Sneed is crazy. 
Now I know you’ll bring up Mayer, a bunch of o-linemen, and Jaylon(1 hour/30 mins away) about BK recruiting 5 star talent. Those guys are usually ranked top 70-100. Weis was grabbing top 25 overall guys yearly.  
BK is the better coach. Weis was the better recruiter. 

I’ve looked back on this in the past. Using 247 and whatever ranking they used for back before they existed, Weis got 5 top 25 players in 5 years. He got a lot of Top 100 talent but the depth was terrible and a lot of his players, especially on D, never panned out. 
 

Does ND need to shoot higher, yes. In particular at QB each year and at the offensive skill positions. They need to add a Clausen type with a Floyd or Tate. That is it though when comparing to Weis. 
 

The overall quality, depth, and hit rate is better with BK. 

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On 7/13/2021 at 6:34 PM, FaithInIrishForever said:

i'm with you. Lynch Greenberry Shepard, Neal. Kelly was trying the elite route, they didn't pan out so he went the Stanford route. ND fans want more, gotta swing big he's gonna miss some, but thats recruiting.

I agree with the Stanford route but Stanford has actually had better QBs ranking wise compared to ND. Andrew Luck kicked that off. Starting with Luck Stanford has had four high level 4*, one 5*, and multiple low to mid 4* QBs. ND needs to hit one of those higher level guys like Buchner but more often. Talent attracts talent. 

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7 hours ago, jbrown_9999 said:

For the umptieth time, Kelly has basically recruited Top 15 while at ND. Sometimes he gets a class around 10 and sometimes one closer to 20. Perhaps that fits your definition of "really good".  BTW, it's sad that we have to go back to 2012/13 for Kelly's best class. Somehow, one would have hoped that he would have had an upward (not downward) trajectory for recruiting over his decade plus stint as HC.

There is light at the end of the tunnel that, after 11-12 years and multiple beat-downs by the other regular CFP teams, Kelly finally woke up and realized that he needs Top 5 classes to compete and he is actually trying to get those type of classes. One could give him the benefit of the doubt and say that hiring Freeman was all part of a master plan to get better classes or, perhaps, Kelly simply lucked out. In any case, ND is now going after and getting elite talent that Kelly had previously passed on since Diaco left and before Freeman joined.

For the umptienth time, Kellys classes are always top 15 in terms of player rankings.  Usually top 12.  His classes are usually underrated because the staff is really good at identifying guys that haven't hit their ceilings.  Unlike Weis.

 

If you like classes that don't have quality or depth on the lines of scrimmage, good for you.  I don't.  I understand football.  If you don't recruit the lines well, you have no chance at all.  Weis didnt, Kelly does. 

 

The results show the difference. Kellys classes are well above Weis. It's not close and his classes are getting better.   

 

Stop complaining and maybe enjoy what he's built and building.  Try being you know, an ND fan 

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7 hours ago, Big23Head said:

I’ve looked back on this in the past. Using 247 and whatever ranking they used for back before they existed, Weis got 5 top 25 players in 5 years. He got a lot of Top 100 talent but the depth was terrible and a lot of his players, especially on D, never panned out. 
 

Does ND need to shoot higher, yes. In particular at QB each year and at the offensive skill positions. They need to add a Clausen type with a Floyd or Tate. That is it though when comparing to Weis. 
 

The overall quality, depth, and hit rate is better with BK. 

Curious how many top 25 Kelly has had in 11 years?  But my point still stands. Weis didn’t have the luxury of recruiting for 11 years to build that depth that was NOT given to him. Kelly has. What if Weis isn’t fired after that horrible 3-9 season. Does Weis come back and start having winning seasons again?  Who knows. Kelly was able to continue coaching after a 4 win season and was able to continue to build on what he had. Weis never had that chance. So I think in terms of building “depth,” you could of seen that with Weis if given the chance.
Again, Weis had to recruit big when he came in. Kelly didn’t. 
Also, in no way am I saying Weis is a better coach. Let me reiterate that. I just think he’s a better recruiter. Or let’s put it this way. If I had to get the top kid to come to ND who would you rather have?  I think we all know the answer to that question. 

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Also, I’m looking back at Kelly’s tenure of getting too 25 according to 247 sports.(let’s face it, that’s how teams win Natty’s). Kelly’s record is horrible. Are we giving Te’o to Kelly or Weis?  Because after that it’s all Jaylon. A player who is a stone throws away from ND stadium. Kelly did have three guys at 26. I think it was Kramer, Watt, and Redfield. Not enough to make a dent in “11” years. 
The best teams that win it every year will have one or two from the top 25 yearly. And Kelly has had 1-1/2 in 11. 
Now JBrown brings up a fair point. Since Freeman has arrived at ND ND has now “3”!!! In the top 25 for the 23’ class-Styles, Bowen, and Vernon. Now if that’s in direct effect of Freeman I’m not sure. But it doesn’t make BK look good. 
Now I know it’s early and rankings will jump and recruiting was a mess last year. But that should make it even more impressive that they landed 3 too 25 guys since Freeman’s arrival. 
Look, all that I’m saying is recruiting had been better recently and all that talk of Nd can’t recruit with the big boys flys in the face of the BK apologists for all those years who just let him sit on laurels. Whatever it is, I’m happy that ND has finally started picking back up!  

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Sorry last point. Let’s not forget that Weis probably only had 4 true recruiting classes to. Partially his fault but if you remember he got to ND late. His best player in that class according to 247 sports was #100 DJ Hord. Ha

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37 minutes ago, coltssb said:

If I had to get the top kid to come to ND who would you rather have?  I think we all know the answer to that question. 

For me, it would be Kelly, hands-down, for the simple fact that for any headliners that Weis recruited, his track record of translating stars to performance was worse than Kelly's, IMO. Now, an argument can be made that Weis recruited the talent and either wasn't able to develop it, had a scheme that stifled it or didn't have time to develop it. IMO, those are largely theoretical exercises that I'm not going to try to account for. Recognizing that blue-chip-rich teams are positioned to compete for championships, at the end of the day stars don't matter much; at least not compared to the on-the-field product.

I want to be clear, I'm not trying to engage the larger discussion of what proves or disproves how good/lousy Kelly truly is as a recruiter. I'm just answering this one question because, IMO, Weis was more focused on marketing the 'decided schematic advantage' of his recruiting prowess than he was turning those stars into a decided performance advantage. 

FWIW, the other post about his 4-sh!t recruiting in the trenches was spot-on and is relevant in this topic as well, even if it isn't central to it. ...the cupboard on both sides of the line was embarrassingly bare when he got 86'd. Almost as bad as what Ty left behind, which is saying something.

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14 hours ago, Big23Head said:

I agree with the Stanford route but Stanford has actually had better QBs ranking wise compared to ND. Andrew Luck kicked that off. Starting with Luck Stanford has had four high level 4*, one 5*, and multiple low to mid 4* QBs. ND needs to hit one of those higher level guys like Buchner but more often. Talent attracts talent. 

Andrew Luck is the kind of kid that ND needs. Gotta hit a generational Talent at QB soon. Kids don't relate to Joe Montana any more.

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10 hours ago, golson5 said:

For the umptienth time, Kellys classes are always top 15 in terms of player rankings.  Usually top 12.  His classes are usually underrated because the staff is really good at identifying guys that haven't hit their ceilings.  Unlike Weis.

 

If you like classes that don't have quality or depth on the lines of scrimmage, good for you.  I don't.  I understand football.  If you don't recruit the lines well, you have no chance at all.  Weis didnt, Kelly does. 

 

The results show the difference. Kellys classes are well above Weis. It's not close and his classes are getting better.   

 

Stop complaining and maybe enjoy what he's built and building.  Try being you know, an ND fan 

Top 15 from average ranking is still just Top 15. Even Top 12 is not Top 10 and not Top 5.

Why is Kelly finally recruiting better now? Why did he "wander in the desert" from 2014 until the 2021 class? It is amazing what changing your target from Top 15 to Top 5 will do. My point is that Kelly should have never settled for being happy with Top 15 recruiting classes. He should have been aiming for Top 5 for each of the past 11-12 years.

Again, maybe Kelly 3.0 is now a Top 5 recruiter. Maybe its all Freeman inspired. In any case, I am happy to see 2022 recruiting finally appear competitive with the other CFP teams.

 

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On 7/15/2021 at 1:35 PM, FaithInIrishForever said:

Andrew Luck is the kind of kid that ND needs. Gotta hit a generational Talent at QB soon. Kids don't relate to Joe Montana any more.

I would even take a Sam Howell or Matt Corral type to start. I guess that would be Buchner but with his injury and COIVD, Buchner's playing time has been compromised. 

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4 minutes ago, Big23Head said:

I would even take a Sam Howell or Matt Corral type to start. I guess that would be Buchner but with his injury and COIVD, Buchner's playing time has been compromised. 

And Jimmy Clausen though highly regarded just didn't resonate with kids. Attracted Crist who didn't really attract the next one post coaching change.

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4 hours ago, jbrown_9999 said:

Top 15 from average ranking is still just Top 15. Even Top 12 is not Top 10 and not Top 5.

Why is Kelly finally recruiting better now? Why did he "wander in the desert" from 2014 until the 2021 class? It is amazing what changing your target from Top 15 to Top 5 will do. My point is that Kelly should have never settled for being happy with Top 15 recruiting classes. He should have been aiming for Top 5 for each of the past 11-12 years.

Again, maybe Kelly 3.0 is now a Top 5 recruiter. Maybe its all Freeman inspired. In any case, I am happy to see 2022 recruiting finally appear competitive with the other CFP teams.

 

This class wont be top 5. Most likely 6 thru 10.  Its another very good class 

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