With just over a week left until signing day, the Irish coaching staff are on full alert. Even though they are feeling good about the collective talent assembled so far, the staff at Notre Dame knows there is still a chance to turn this into an elite class on a national level. Although the opportunity to do just that is there, some questions still need to be answered. Here are five questions that will have a major impact on signing day for the Notre Dame program. What type of impact?, well, that depends on what the answers are.
1.Will the Irish have unexpected help in the secondary?
Justin Reid – Word on the four-star safety is that his official visit went extremely well this past weekend, and while the Irish may not be the favorite at this point, they are at least within striking distance, along with Stanford and LSU. Reid is by no means considered a lock for Notre Dame(or even a strong possibility), but at least the Irish have a fighting chance come signing day.
2. Will Josh Adams be the lone running back in the class of 2015?
For awhile it seemed as this may be the case, but the coaching staff has forged a real connection with four-star running back, and former Miami commit, Dexter Williams. Williams plans to announce his intentions live on February 4th, and while we wouldn’t call it a lock at this point, it definitely is looking good for Notre Dame.
3. If Reid goes elsewhere, what about Jalen Julius?
Even though the Reid visit went well, many believe the Irish most likely come in second, or even third, behind Stanford and LSU. If that happens it will put the onus squarely back on Arrington Farrar and Jalen Julius. In Julius, the Irish would benefit from his speed and athleticism, but will find it difficult to compensate for his size. If Julius did receive an offer from Notre Dame, it would all but guarantee a commitment from his high school teammate, and current Notre Dame target, Dexter Williams. The three star safety out of Florida, doesn’t necessarily answer the safety question for Notre Dame, but his commitment would give the Irish a talented athlete, with speed.
4. If Reid goes elsewhere, and Julius isn’t the answer – what about Arrington Farrar?
Truth be known, the Irish staff would much prefer the four-star safety out of Atlanta, over Julius. Many feel that Notre Dame still has a bit of work to do here, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he could announce on signing day, that South Bend is his destination of choice. The Irish are in another battle with Stanford over Farrar, but have made up some impressive ground over the last few weeks. Landing Farrar would be a nice pick-up for Kelly and his staff, and give them solid player in the secondary. Farrar may not have the speed that Julius possesses, but he isn’t slow, and his size and frame are more suited for the position.
5. Will the Irish add even more offensive weapons at wide receiver?
The 2015 class already includes hard verbal’s from four-star wide receivers C.J. Sanders and Miles Boykin, and three-star Jalen Guyton, but could there be more? If it’s up to Kelly and his staff, yes. The Irish are in hopes to land four-star standout wide receiver, Equanimeous St. Brown, and conventional wisdom says they will do just that. Although UCLA is still in the mix, the commitment on signing day for Notre Dame is about as close to a lock and Irish fans could hope for. The combination of St. Brown, Sanders, Boykin, and current Irish tight-end commit, Aliz’e Jones, could create major problems for future Irish opponents.
Listen, we all know that recruiting evaluations are subjective at best, and simply because a program finishes inside the top ten in recruiting, guarantees nothing. In many cases recruits are over or under valued, and less we forget that each kid will need to be developed properly at this level. So finishing in the top 10 does not automatically guarantee the Irish success on the field – but it helps. If the Irish land Williams, Brown, and Farrar, it will most likely cement a position amongst the nation’s elite classes for 2015, miss out on one or two of them, and it’s the equivalent of the Irish ending up at the children’s table for Thanksgiving. Yeah, we’re still invited, but it’s not the same.