Notre Dame Adds Marcus Freeman’s ‘Best Friend’ James Laurinaitis to Staff

There have been only three days in 2022, and it’s already been quite eventful for the Notre Dame program. The year started as a disaster on the field for the Irish, but off the off the field things are getting interesting. Marcus Freeman has begun to put a personal touch on the coaching staff by hiring former Ohio State All-American and NFL Veteran James Laurinaitis.

Laurinaitis and Freeman shared the field as teammates, and on his Columbus-based radio show Laurinaitis called Freeman his “best friend.” It is still somewhat unclear as to exactly what role the former Ohio State star will play on Freeman’s staff, but it would be hard to believe he won’t be at least somewhat involved with the Linebackers.

Laurinaitis, a potential monster recruiter

Marcus Freeman has been pretty blunt in stating that the people on his staff will have to be excellent recruiters. One has to think that’s what he sees in Laurinaitis.

The two are close friends so Freeman, so he has a pretty good idea of the guy he might be sending out on the recruiting trail and must see Laurinaitis as someone that could potentially be big in recruiting Ohio.

Indiana is certainly not known for being a hotbed of talent, so Notre Dame has to continue to build a base in Ohio, which does provide a good amount of talent, and has specifically given Notre Dame guys like Tommy Kraemer, Lorenzo Styles, Liam Eichenberg, and so many others. Every high school Coach in Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati knows who James Laurinaitis is, and he will have no problem getting into any place he wants to.

Notre Dame has had some success recently taking some big-time recruits out of Ohio State’s backyard, and now with two former Ohio State stars in South Bend, Ohio, will continue to be a hub for the Irish.

New Voices for Notre Dame

To some, it may seem like Marcus Freeman is simply hiring his friends into new roles, like his colleague Brian mason from Cincinnati, but it can also be seen as bringing in folks with a different perspective from somewhere other than South Bend.

It may feel a little odd that Notre Dame is hiring a lot of guys with ties to other Midwest schools like Cincinnati and Ohio State, but a new perspective from people who have been a part of other successful programs in the Midwest might be what this team needs.

Brian Kelly had some bug successes in his hires like Clark Lea and Tommy Rees, but he also had some big whiffs. Two of the notable not-so-great hires were Autry Denson and Todd Lyght, who were Notre Dame legends as players, but not what the program needed as Coaches.

The problem with hiring former Irish from the 90s and 80s is that College Football has changed, and Notre Dame can’t try to win as they did with Lou Holtz 30 years ago.

A guy like Laurinaitis, who played for very successful Ohio State teams more recently followed by a long NFL career that ended just a few years ago, can relate better to 21-year-old kids than guys from the 80s they’ve never seen play. Hiring Laurinaitis in an analyst role has a lot of boom and no real bust potential.

Next Staff Moves

More news will be coming regarding Marcus Freeman’s staff at Notre Dame. Freeman has four vacancies to fill. Defensive Coordinator will be the biggest question as the Irish defense looked like it had never played football in the 2nd half of the Fiesta Bowl. Wide Receiver will be another critical hire for the rookie head coach, given the recent dismissal of Del Alexander. It’s still to be seen who will fill these positions, but one can appreciate Freeman’s different perspective on his search.

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  1. Sorry pinheads. I’m Irish Italian Catholic and been rooting for ND for 60+ years. I bet you guys don’t even know who Nick Eddy and Larry Conjar were. You might remember Jim Seymour and Terry Hanratty. Coley O’brien anyone? I had tickets to the game in 74 where ND beat Alabama. Eric Penick ran a kickoff back in that one. I saw them beat Texas and the wishbone in 71. They should have beaten them in 70 too. I probably forgot more ND history than you will ever know.
    Now – I hate the SEC. I really hate Alabma. However I don’t know how they are doing it but they are dominating more than normal. And Michigan and Cincinnati didn’t do much to dispel top SEC team dominance either. Ohio State has had some good games but top tier midwest teams by and large are loosing big to top tier SEC teams. So how do you beat them – well getting linemen from down there is a start. If we start getting top tier players from down there it weakens them – they don’t get as many. Did you knuckleheads ever think of that?

    1. That’s great, humble grampa.
      I’m just a crazy guy who watches football games that haven’t been decided yet.
      Yes, it’s stressful, but it makes for great entertainment.

  2. It is great to get some different perspectives. Now ND needs to invade the SEC recruiting areas. Right now it doesn’t appear anyone can break the stranglehold that Alabama and Georgia has on the top players from that area. I thought Michigan would at least be competitive against Georgia but they weren’t. All of the midwest teams are getting the same result (with the exception of Ohio State) when they go up against the SEC in the National championship games. So from that perspective the ND losses don’t look so bad.

    1. Oh, don’t you know? The SEC is utterly overrated.
      You better get that straight if you’re going to hang around here.

    2. david, our resident SEC troll, will continually herald the Bama and the 13 others receiving votes conference as the best. And, if you look only at Bama and its Saban led dominance in the NC games it’s an easy mistake to make. Enough that fans in Nashville, Starkville, Fayetteville and davidville will chant S.E.C! all game long as they trounce The Citadel or Mercer. But, as mentioned by another poster in another thread, if you were to put Bama in the big 10, 12 or Pac whatever, or even the MAC, they would have the same argument of conference superiority.

      UGA was good, this year. they haven’t won a NC since before ND last did so, seemingly the relevance argument arises. LSU had a good year in 2019….now they feel like they won the lottery hiring ND’s david hated coach.

      SEC plays themselves and FCS schools then tells us how great they are.
      This year, had there been a conference that included Army (beat mizzou); UCF (beat Florida); Houston (beat Auburn); Texas Tech (beat Miss St); Purdue (beat Tenn); Baylor (beat Ole Miss); and KState (beat LSU)….would david then agree that conference was better?

      Or, less hypothetically, let’s look at the Big 12 as it will consist in just a couple years….Kstate beat LSU; Baylor beat Ole Miss; Texas Tech beat Miss State; Houston beat Auburn…appears to me every single team that is in the Big 12 or will be soon that played an SEC school in a bowl beat that SEC school with the one exception of cincy. And who did they play…Bama of course.
      Get a new schtick david or just run on back to your SCAR or Vandy board and keep sliding on the Tide to make yourself feel good.

      1. And before you “brevity” me, I will translate all the big, hard words you wont grasp:

        “SEC not all great. You go away now”

      2. Careful davie. Your mommy’s gonna make you put a dollar in the swear jar and your Dungeons and Dragons fund will take a hit. Now be a good boy and go play while the men talk.

      3. Attaboy davie. Don’t worry, one day you will be old enough to drink. Then you can maybe quit huffing paint or whatever you young’uns are doing these days.

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