It’s Time for Brian Kelly to Earn Some Coffee

Brian Kelly - Notre Dame HC
Photo: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

As we all learned in Glengarry Glen Ross, “Coffee’s for closers only.”  Well, with just over a week to go until National Signing Day 2016 and a few, select elite recruits left on Notre Dame’s recruiting board, it’s time for Brian Kelly and his staff to earn their coffee to close out this class and push it into elite status.

Notre Dame has been here before under Brian Kelly.  They’ve headed into National Signing Day with elite recruits left on the board but more often than not, they’ve ended up as the bridesmaid for a 5-star recruit.  The one glaring exception to this was when Eddie Vanderdoes selected the Irish on NSD three years ago.  While Vanderdoes didn’t leave the Irish at the alter that day, that was a marriage where the honeymoon didn’t last long as Vanderdoes transferred before ever stepping foot on campus.

A year ago Notre Dame fared much better on Signing Day than they have in past years by hitting on two of three of their final prospects when they landed Dexter Williams and Equanimeous St Brown.  Two years ago, however, Notre Dame missed out on elite prospects like Terrence Alexander, Micah Quick, and JuJu Smith in a series of decisions that left the Irish disappointed even though they did land Daniel Cage that day and he has so far shown a lot of promise.

Can Notre Dame keep up the positive trend from last year next week?  If they do, this class could end up being one of the highest ranked classes of the Kelly Era.

Notre Dame is charging towards Signing Day with three 5-star recruits left on their board – wide receiver Demetris Robertson, Caleb Kelly, and Ben Davis.  For Notre Dame to land any of them, Brian Kelly will have to be on his recruiting game this week.

Notre Dame already strategically used Brian Kelly’s in-home visit with Robertson a week ago as the Irish were trending positively for the speedy wide receiver who seems like a tailor made replacement for Will Fuller.  With the two other 5-star recruits though, Kelly still has his in-home visit left.  Notre Dame has wisely waited until the last possible minute to use his in-home in these two cases.

No pressure.

Brian Kelly will be in-home this week with both Caleb Kelly and Ben Davis.  Depending on the report and the website, it is still very debatable who leads for Caleb Kelly.  The good news is that Bob Stoops already used his in-home with Kelly and the Sooners are by far the biggest threat to Notre Dame here.  In fact, some feel that they may be back in the lead after it looked like the Irish overtook them over the last few weeks.  Saving Kelly’s in-home til the end here will give him the final word – at least from a head coach perspective – as Notre Dame tries to continue its recent tradition of landing high school Butkus Award winners and turning them into collegiate Butkus Award winners.

Kelly will be in-home with Ben Davis as well this week, but of the three remaining 5-star recruits, he has by far the most work to do here.  Autry Denson has done a phenomenal job keeping Notre Dame in the game but any time the Irish are battling four SEC schools for a 5-star linebacker, its usually a losing battle.  Still, Kelly and the Irish will have one last chance to lure Davis out of the South and into South Bend.

As Scott outlined on Monday, Notre Dame has several other prospects left on the board – all of whom can play a key role in this class.  The two best bets for Notre Dame at this point, however, appear to be Florida linebacker Jonathan Jones and wide receiver Nate Johnson.

Should Brian Kelly and his staff add those two prospects along with two of the three 5-star recruits, Notre Dame will close this class with 26 recruits while hitting on every need they had coming in.  That class could very well push this class into the top 5 as well.

Should all of that happen, Brian Kelly and his staff will very well have earned their coffee.  If they close out this year’s class by adding a couple of 5-star recruits, they might just have earned a little something extra in that coffee. But only after all the ink has dried next Wednesday.

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  1. “Earn” his coffee?! Forget that! Give him all the coffee he can drink thru 2021, with sacks of Arabica beans as severance if it doesn’t work out.

  2. The likely hood is that they will come up short on more then they will get! With Alabama winning another championship, it’s easy to sell the Tide to a 5 star recruit. Not that ND doesn’t have its good points but the kids want that chance to play for the title each of their four years. Once ND gets back regularly in the top 5, the 5/4 stars will flock to ND but until then getting a 5 star will take tons of work and long hours. Good Luck ND! Go IRISH!

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