Notre Dame, Ind (UHND) — While this year’s recruiting class isn’t filled with game breaking top ranked recruits from top to bottom like we’d all like, Notre Dame already had its more important signing day. On January 4, 2005; the full staff for Notre Dame was officially in place and those 10 “recruits” formed the #1 class in the country.
Some people are harping on the fact that this class is not ranked in the top 10 or 15 or even the top 20. This was to be expected. How much higher up would this class have been if Willingham had stayed? Maybe the top 15? And that’s if recruits like AJ Trump, Rafael Eubanks, and Brian Roche picked the Irish along with David Nelson and Lawrence Wilson.
I for one however will trade the 10 spots or whatever the heck it is for those 10 new coaches that will be gracing the sidelines of Notre Dame Stadium for years to come. A coaching change at the end of the season is usually not a good thing for recruiting. A coaching change at the end of a horrible season that was leading into a disappointing recruiting season is even worse.
Weis and his staff however salvaged this class and brought in a solid class of 15 quality recruits who want Notre Dame for Notre Dame not for the coach or any other reason. It is disappointing that Weis couldn’t keep guys like Lawrence Wilson and David Nelson in the fold. However, will losing 2 or 3 or even 4 recruits in 1 single recruiting class have a bigger effect than having a whole staff of incompetent coaches on the sidelines would?
While the short term gains from the Weis hiring may have not been great, the long term benefits will more than make up for a less than spectacular class this season. The new staff has shown in the month they have been on the job that they will be much more aggressive than either of the last two regimes were at Notre Dame. They have shown they are relentless and tireless recruiters who will recruit all over the country.
Now before anyone tries to say that Willingham and his staff had more success in their first