Notre Dame’s undefeated season translated to even more success on the recruiting trail Wednesday. According to Rivals recruiting, the Irish had the third best class only behind Alabama and Ohio State. Despite an ugly loss to Alabama in the national championship game, head coach Brian Kelly interviewing for the Philadelphia Eagles, and bizarre Manti Te’o story, Notre Dame was able to hold on the all their verbal commits and even add another big time sign today.
Heading into Wednesday, national signing day, Notre Dame had 23 verbal committed players including three five-stars. The first 22 letters of intent came in quickly, headlined by five stars, running back Greg Bryant, safety Max Redfield, and linebacker Jaylon Smith. But Kelly and his coaching staff had to wait until later to receive Tarean Folston’s letter. The four star running back previously committed to Notre Dame in January but was continually recruited by Auburn. Fortunately for the Irish they were able to hold on at the end. But the day was not over for Kelly and his staff.
The day closes as five star defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes, former USC commit, waited until 5P.M WST to announce his college decision. Since re-opening his recruitment, Vanderdoes was heavily recruited by UCLA, Washington, Alabama, and Notre Dame. After much speculation during the day, he ultimately decided to take his talents to South Bend.
Vanderdoes’ signing was a huge win for the Irish, getting two five stars from California and closing their 2013 class with 24 commits, including four five-stars and 14 four-stars. Not only does this highly rated class show that Notre Dame is back and here to stay, it proves that going to South Bend is still attractive. Being able to lure two five stars from the state of California speaks volume to the job that Kelly has done in his three short years at Notre Dame. Overall, a very successful day for the Fighting Irish and another big step towards a national championship.
Check back in the upcoming weeks as I will take a closer look at all over Notre Dame’s commits as we approach the beginning of spring practice.