Home Illustration Notre Dame Recruitment Mailbag – Part 2

Notre Dame Recruitment Mailbag – Part 2


In the second edition of this week’s recruiting mail, we’re going off the rails a bit. Of course, we talk a lot about recruitment, in particular about changing the structure of signing days, Al Golden impact and how numbers can work.

We also explore some of the best coaches in all of college football, as well as NFL Draft discussions. Things don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon around Notre Dame’s recruiting. Let’s go!

Like every week, questions have been submitted by the loyal premium subscribers of the Irish Breakdown forum!

@thrillhouse: What do you think about adding another signing day in August?

I’m a big fan of a signing day in August. This would not be so much an “add” as simply reformatting the signature day structure. Having a signing day in December and another in February just isn’t spaced out enough for my liking. I would prefer that the December one be moved to the start of the season.

This could be very beneficial for rookies who have stopped everything and want to focus only on their later years. It also spaces the signing days enough to present the options. If a committed player is not yet ready to make a decision, he is not obliged to do so. It would be a good option to relieve the pressure of what can be an exhausting process.

@irishcub5: Do you think Notre Dame is too passive with engaged prospects? Everyone says welcome to the recruiting of big boys, but Notre Dame seems to be passing quickly on the prospects they miss, which seems both good and bad.

No, I really don’t. There is a good balance between being relentless and being realistic. Not all recruits are ready to quit. There are many who completely stand by their decision when they make it. Spending too much time on unwilling players is not a good limited time allocation.

You also don’t want to put yourself in a position where you miss a talented player because you spent too much time trying to knock someone down. Notre Dame will continue to recruit certain committed prospects if it makes sense. It’s just not a unique situation.

@golfermike2022: If some other schools are having a terrible season and Notre Dame is doing well, do you see Notre Dame trying to knock down some players?

Yes, it is very possible. Performance on the pitch is a big part of the recruiting process without a doubt. The most important thing to consider is how much space the class will have available at that time.

Right now, sitting in early August, Notre Dame already has 23 commitments and may only have room for three or four more. If we look further into the season, there may not be many places left. It’s going to be tricky but I expect the Irish coaching staff to continue to monitor the numbers.

@tconn40: How do you think Coach (Al) Golden is doing on the track?

I’ve only heard positive things about Coach Golden’s impact on recruiting. It seems the staff is letting position coaches lead many recruits and Golden has come closer to legitimizing the role of rookies in defense. jadeen Eggplant, for example, praised Coach Golden’s knowledge of football and their conversations about the appearance of defense. I expect him to be even more involved as he continues to cement his philosophy on the defensive system.

@bksburner: With your experience in NFL ratings, which Notre Dame prospects in the Class of 2023 do you consider to have elite RAS scores to test for the next level?

Oh, that’s a really fun question. So for people who don’t have a lot of experience with RAS, it means relative sports score. Players are scored on a scale of 0-10 based on their historical ranking against players at their position in various combined tests. These figures are adjusted according to the height of the player. So basically, players who test better at a larger size will be more impressive than smaller players who test exceptionally well. It’s a big man’s game and that’s what RAS stands for.

As for the Class of 2023, I think there are several players who could eventually become elite-level testers if developed properly. For the purposes of this exercise, I will only include players who are currently engaged in the program. I believe it starts with a defensive side Keon Keelethere. At 6-6 and around 240 pounds, he has the kind of frame to support a substantial amount of more weight. Size and weight wise he will be able to score at a high enough level and I think he will also test extremely well at all levels. It’s the easiest bet to be an elite level tester.

Offensive tackle Charles Jagusah is not far behind. He is a massive offensive lineman who should easily be able to hold over 325 pounds long term. He’s also an explosive mover who should test well across the board. Jagusah is a potentially elite level athlete for the position.

Security Peyton Bowen is another elite backend athlete for the Notre Dame recruiting class. He’s going to test exceptionally well from a testing standpoint, especially running really fast in the forty-yard dash. It also has a frame that should hold enough weight that size attributes aren’t much of a barrier to the RAS score. It’s not very often that you get a security that can be a legit dash tester under 4.4 meters.

wide receiver Braylon James is the type of size-weight-speed dynamo that could potentially blow up the combine. Notre Dame has had a pretty good streak of wide receivers doing it and I’d be surprised if James didn’t do the same with his outstanding frame to keep adding weight.

defensive lineman Brenan Vernon is the schemer to watch. I don’t believe he would be a special tester as a defensive end, but if he ends up fitting in at the top level, he has a chance to be an exceptional athlete working inside. Add to that the fact that it has a very nice length for the stance and body type to support over 300 pounds on the road. This one is a bit of a projection to another position but is also reasonable to consider.

Cornerback Micah Bell is perhaps the most interesting case to consider. From a speed and explosiveness standpoint, the Texas native is special. It has a legitimate chance of running the sub 4.3 when all is said and done. What might hold him back is his size. Its length and height are more than adequate, but I don’t think Bell will ever hold much weight. This could hurt his score, although he will still score just fine with the raw test numbers.

@bluechip: During the Ausberry Pledge Podcast, I feel like you and Bryan generally described Ben Minich as a good player, but I didn’t feel like either of you would describe as an elite. If Minich isn’t tied, cap-wise, like the other 2023 security commitments, why is he a catch for Notre Dame?

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Not to mention Bryan, I believe we both love Well miniche. He’s a good safety with versatility to play a few different roles at the back. Personally, I’m just missing a bit of high-end athleticism. I think it’s worth mentioning that not all players are cast in the same role.

Notre Dame wouldn’t take Minich if they didn’t think a lot about his game and he also has very good ground as a role player and a key member of the special team. The staff just sees it slightly different than what I do right now. It is very possible that I am wrong and that I am completely too weak for him. It’s also important to remember that he has a senior season to play, so my opinion of his overall athleticism can change very quickly.

@floating-irish: If you could put together your dream coaching staff of all the coaches at the university, who would it be?

For the purposes of this conversation, I would like to exclude current Notre Dame coaches. There are several that I would have liked to include in this scenario. I’m less concerned with filling out a full class. Instead, here are some coaches I really like in college football.

Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard

He might be my favorite defensive mind in college football after Gary patterson resigned as head coach at TCU. Leonhard did a terrific job with the Badgers and always put up huge defenses. I love his ability to modernize the 3-4 alignment to counter spatial play.

Morgan Scalley, Utah defensive coordinator

A former Utes All American safety, Scalley has become one of the best defensive coordinators in all of college football under the head coach. Kyle Whittingham. Scalley has had a great tendency to develop impressive defensive backs and his units consistently play very hard. It is structurally one of my favorite watches every off-season.

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz

This one might sound a little boring, but I’m a big fan of what Coach Ferentz accomplished in Iowa and his continued optimism for the program. Ferentz is also a terrific offensive line coach who is a stickler for the fundamentals. That’s why they had so many great offensive linemen for the Hawkeyes during his tenure. He remains one of the most underrated coaches in all of college football year after year.

Purdue Head Coach Jeff Brohm

From an offensive structure perspective, I love what Jeff Brohm did at Purdue. He has a pro-style approach but has shown the ability to adapt to different styles of point guards. I would say Brohm shoots as much from as little as anyone in college football. He is a great X and Os coach.

Be sure to check out the Irish Breakdown message board, the Champions Lounge

Content of the Irish breakdown

Notre Dame List 2022
Schedule Notre-Dame 2022

Notre Dame 2023 Class Big Board
Notre Dame 2023 Commits Board – Offense
Notre Dame 2023 Commits Board – Defense

Notre Dame Scholarship Offers 2023
Notre Dame Scholarship Offers 2024

Ranking of signatories 2022 – Attack
Ranking of signatories 2022 – Defense


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