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Holding On: 2023 Recruiting Updates

Updated: Dec 16, 2022

Written by Liam Gaudet, Senior Editor


📸: Sports Illustrated


Just a few short months ago, Notre Dame was frothing at the mouth on the recruiting trail, with a truly elite recruiting class headlined by 5-star talents in Keon Keeley and Peyton Bowen with rumors of Dante Moore closing in on a commitment. The Irish faithful were seeing the world through rose-colored glasses, however, as the sobering reality of the modern recruiting landscape began to chip away at the pledges the Irish had obtained over the last year. With the former top commit Keon Keeley now headed to Alabama, and rumors spiraling about other top talents preparing to back down from their commitments, all we can do now is speculate about what this class will end up looking like come signing day.

The obvious elephant in the room is Peyton Bowen. Rumors broke late Wednesday night of a massive NIL package that would await Bowen should he flip his commitment to Oregon, and Oklahoma had reportedly matched the offer. Although Bowen would deny these claims via Twitter, things aren't exactly in great standing for the Irish. New projections favor Oklahoma to flip the 5-star talent from Notre Dame, and although he remains committed after an in-home visit from the Irish staff, there hasn't been much in the way of positive news since the summer in his recruitment. Bowen has visited the likes of Texas A&M and Oklahoma numerous times and travelled to South Bend earlier in November when Notre Dame defeated Clemson. A member of the Irish Tribune team did manage to get in touch with Bowen who would confirm that the NIL rumors were false, but even with this affirmation, will it be enough to keep the elite safety in the fold? My guess is probably not. The only semblance of hope is that Bowen hasn't decommitted at this point, but that may change before early signing day on the 21st.

Another rumored flip would be that of west-coast running back Jayden Limar. Limar pledged to the Irish back in May, but will travel to Oregon this weekend for a visit. After losing a commitment recently to speedster Dylan Edwards, Limar's commitment became an absolute priority. Limar did meet with the staff earlier this month, and although there are no expert predictions for him to flip at this point, it is definitely something to keep an eye on as we close in on the final stretch of this cycle.

It's not all doom and gloom in Irishland, as Notre Dame was recently able to secure a commitment from the likes of Virginia four-star athlete Brandyn Hillman, who is a slippery playmaker and can play on both sides of the ball. Hillman is a feel good story who only had one offer heading into his senior season, but his total domination paved the way for him to shoot up the rankings. It's always nice to have athletes like this in the class who can fill multiple holes should any last minute changes to the class occur.

Additionally, Notre Dame added more depth to a struggling wide receiver room with a verbal from Kaleb Smith, a three-star from Frisco, Texas. Smith also met with staff earlier this week, and things are looking up for the future of pass-catching at Notre Dame.

Finally, it's worth noting that the leaders of this class have stepped to the forefront in an attempt to keep the accumulated talent in South Bend. It's no secret that Drayk Bowen has done his fair share of recruiting for Notre Dame this cycle, as we've seen him very active on social media in pursuit of bringing other talent in, as well as keeping what we have. It was Drayk tweeting at his namesake yesterday in hopes of keeping the only 5-star talent that remains in this class. Regardless of how Peyton's recruitment ends, it's safe to say the Irish have one of the best and brightest leaders with Drayk Bowen locked in.

It's incredibly exhausting and nerve-wracking to follow recruiting this close to signing day, especially when top end talent is at stake. Can Freeman and the staff retain the talent they sought after, or will it be all for not? Only time will tell. The only thing at this point that is no longer a mystery is the work ethic of the staff, and how incredibly hard they've worked to build a terrific class. And that's something to be admired.

1 commento


mg4udet
mg4udet
17 dic 2022

Let's hope!

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