Notre Dame Recruiting Finish Mirrored Up & Down 2017 Season

If you stop and think about it, the 2018 recruiting cycle played out a lot like the 2017 football season. A very strong start with some definite highlights (Kevin Austin, Phil Jurkovec, Shayne Simon, Jayson Ademilola, and Derrik Allen), some tough losses late (Amon-Ra St. Brown, Nicholas Petit-Frere), and then a near miracle finish with C’Bo Flemister (RB), DJ Brown (CB), Lwrence Keys (WR), Jarrett Patterson (OT) and Noah Boykin (CB) on National Signing Day.

Like the regular season, it’s tough to look past the talent at the top of the class as anything but top notch. Notre Dame’s top 7-8 can pretty much go wherever they want and a school will make room for them. There is no taking anything away from those guys just like there is no taking away from Notre Dame’s throttling of USC, Michigan State and NC State or their miracle finish against LSU in the Citrus Bowl.

But, it is also difficult to look past where the Irish missed. This season marks the 5th straight cycle in which Notre Dame failed to land a consensus five star player. Not landing St. Brown, given his families ties to Notre Dame, and Kelly having made him a priority for three seasons now, was a tough pill to swallow. And Petit-Frere, who plays the position Kelly and co. recruit better than any other, spurning the Irish for Ohio State on the eve of signing day brought with it a feeling of here we go again. Another good class was going to sputter out with fans wondering if they’d ever turn the corner.

Just like in the regular season where the Irish experienced some pretty high highs, it is impossible to judge the season without looking at the losses to Miami and Stanford specifically that were tough to swallow for Irish fans.

Then Patterson happened. He was long rumored to stay on the West Coast, the distance was going to be too much for him, until it wasn’t. He committed around 10 am eastern time. Next was Lawrence Keys, who turned away the hard charging Texas Longhorns for the Irish and things were looking up. A nice cap to a good class.

Then the Boykin news came and everything changed. Suddenly, the good class felt like a great class, and a good close felt fantastic. In reality, not much changed, except for the fact that in addition to Patterson, Keys, and Boykin, Notre Dame also added running back C’Bo Flemister and defensive back DJ Brown. All of whom are really good players who will help Notre Dame win football games. But, after all of that, Notre Dame dropped in the national rankings, from #8 to #10.

See, the thing that was going to turn this class from good to great were objectively great players, and Notre Dame missed on that. Just like the difference between a good and great 2017 season were losses to Miami and Stanford to end the season. But the late additions of those three players to end the day brought that feeling of surprise and joy. That things were turning around for the better. Just like Miles Boykins’ catch and run against LSU, in an otherwise meaningless game, changed how a lot of us felt about the 2017 season and what could be in 2018.

And interestingly enough, a guy by the name of Boykin was the one who turned the tide. How’s that for symmetry?

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    1. And it’s on to Omaha for the NCAA Championship. Hey , maybe tight end Cole Kmet—-who shut out the Tigers in his debut in 4 innings of relief—can help Irish contend come tournament time.

  1. Pete LaFleurs description of ” the kick” is almost as perfect as Harry Oliver’s kick. I remember that very well. My Dad and I were in our store huddled by the radio. We were on the west coast, I don’t know if it was televised out west. After all the hoopla Dan Devine got interviewed. He said ” the wind suddenly stopped, its as if Our Lady….. ” He got choked up and couldn’t finish. Harry Oliver, one of the greatest Fighting Irish football players of all time.

  2. The ” Mad bomber” really came into his own on the Raiders in their early days. There is a high school Stadium named after him in Clovis. Watch ” Best of Times” Russell and Williams at their best. Stars are easily forgotten ( Kid Lester)

    1. Greg , LaMonica played two years under ND coach Joe Kuharich — around ’61 , ’62. Not a good time for a QB at ND. His talent came forth in pro ball with Oakland Raiders. Ya just never know. John Huarte–under Ara became Heisman Trophy winner his senior year ! Huarte was a bust–on next level of pro ball.

    1. LAMONICA was the first NOTRE DAME QB to start in a SUPER BOWL with Raiders in 68″. I remember what a big arm he had, and how good those old AFL games were! Never saw him play with IRISH! Only go back to THIESMAN. Always remember if the Raiders were having a bad day 46 year old George Blanda would replace LAMONICA in the 4th qtr.

  3. Hey, maybe they needed corporal punishment when they were young and they ( OJ et als) wouldn’t be where they are today.

  4. RE: Kevin Stepherson

    He can receive notes and letters:

    Kevin Stepherson
    Fulton County Jail
    815 Madison Street
    Rochester IN 46975

    He can receive money for snacks and odds and ends
    BUT it must be a MONEY ORDER
    sent in his name to the same address.

    He can receive books. The Jail operative said it must be from the publisher, and MUST BE PAPERBACK

    I am sending him the following book

    Man’s Search for Meaning
    by Viktor Frankl

    Let your conscience be your guide………

    is one of the ancient Roman Catholic Corporal Works of Mercy

  5. Okay, I would like to ignite more discussion in this hot stove league season.

    So her is my SWP (“Stupid Winter Prediction.”)

    Of ND’s 12 regular season opponents, only Florida State, stabilized by Willie Taggart and bolstered
    by the return of Francois to the offense, will finish in the Top 10.

    Michigan, Va Tech, Stanford and USC will probably finish in the Top 20 but each will have three or more losses.

    This SWP about year end poll rankings is not, directly, or indirectly, a ranking of how difficult
    each opponent will be for the Irish.

    Have at it.

    I will respond to factual logical disagreement with emotion, to emotional disagreement with logic and facts, and to virulent personal attacks with quotes from the Bhagavad Gita, probably in the
    original Sanskrit.

    Let the battle rage………

  6. Oh by the way, I mentioned the ’76 season leading into the ’77 season…it’s worth noting that in ’76, my senior year, we were 9-3 with a win over Penn State in the Gator Bowl (our first GB appearance). That season, and the Gator Bowl, was definitely a lynchpin for the ’77 NC team. No question about that. To me, this situation we have today really seems similar in some ways…there is even a similarity in the amount of vocal people who wanted DD gone ASAP to the sizeable and vocal group that want BK gone ASAP. One difference of course is that DD had only two years at that time, while BK is heading into his ninth year. But other than that, the similarities are many.

    BGC ’77 ’82

  7. Duranko and Keith,
    This is a criticism “up with which I will not put” was said by a post-war Winston Churchill after he was criticized by a London newspaper reporter for ending his sentences with prepositions on occasion. My “dear old dad” used to quote that at the dinner table, and then laugh that laugh of his, from time to time when we were young. He loved Winston Churchill and Douglas McArthur.

    So you are an English teacher, Keith? Some of the diction on this site must bring you nearly to tears! I was a HS Physics teacher…and trying to read lab reports at night was a nightmare I remember well to this day. English teachers suffer a lot grading homework…believe me, I know! But if you are a “good” teacher, you at least circle EVERY single grammar error every single time, and make written comments when needed. Sadly, all too many teachers just blow it off and “check the assignment in” as “complete”…they should look for another job! That takes about 20 minutes for 100 papers…real grading takes about three minutes per paper, or longer…add that time up for 100 papers!

    BGC ’77 ’82

  8. SFR,
    I’m not lumping either of you into anything! I just like it better when you two talk football instead of whatever!

    Look guys, all of you, the defense will be great next year. But for the end of the regular season, our defense kept everybody under 21 points. 21 points beat LSU, and 21 points would have beaten Georgia. And we’ll be better next year!

    Defense wins championships…but the offense has to do its part. I just think they will after seeing the last 32 minutes of the Citrus Bowl.

    I am concerned about our road schedule, simply because we have not been too swift on the road lately, though we did look good against BC and MSU. But with a decent passing game, and the “Yoon” factor, we should score more than twenty points against anyone on the schedule.

    Look for the obvious defensive struggle at VT. Assuming we can win that one (and it may come down to field goals) then I see at USC as a possible game for a perfect 12-0 season. Nobody will beat us at ND…so I’m optimistic. Why shouldn’t we be? personally, I think a lot of these games won’t even be close…teams held below twenty points while we score in the 30’s or 40’s…like we did during that early run in 2017…only more consistent due to better passing.

    It’s a huge advantage to start with a great “D” already intact. You all know this. It did not have to be this way…three key guys could have gone into the draft…but they didn’t! Assuming they lead the other 80 in Balis’s program this summer, with a few others, as I am sure they will, we’re looking pretty good. Plus we are getting instant help in the secondary from several places (and a very experienced secondary at that!) We’re in a good place, and not by accident. Watch and see. And what better way to thumb our noses at the “uneven” NCAA than to come back with a 12-0 season! The irony of it would not be lost on many people, ND fans or not.

    So SFR and Duranko, and others, talk some football…what do you guys think?

    BGC ’77 ’82

    1. If anything you may be understating our defensive quality.

      We only lost Morgan, Trumbetti, and Martini. Bruce, can you ever recall us having that much defensive experience returning? I can’t . Sure there were special situations like ’46 when the Hall of Fame came back after the war, ’64 when Huey’s great ’63 class combined with the arrival of Johnny Ray and the quick decision by Ara to go to two platoon football, but otherwise, have we ever returned so much? And it is the second year of the system. Plus, we have some special leadership possibilities with the frosh like Allen, Griffith, Simon and Lamb. Alohi Gilman, who practiced last year, should be the “TRANSFER of the year” if there is such an award.

      Think back to a year ago. The coaching staff had been overturned and the defense was a hot mess.

      It’s different this time. This defensive staff is in the second year of the 4-2-5 with Rover. They are in the same positions coaching except for Joseph. That is a huge benefit.

      Then if you want to drill down, the defense’s two biggest problems were not the defense. The defense gave up a lot of points against Miami and Stanford WHEN the OFFENSE turned the ball over.

      I would amend your “Yoon” factor to the “Yoon and Newsome” factor. I think Newsome is the most underrated asset on the team.

      This team has come a long way since SC ’16. The LSU win will give them the confidence to build on that foundation.

      1. That’s exactly it Duranko…and the only time I remember such a great situation with a returning “D” other than the times you recalled might be going from the year I graduated (after the 76 season) into the 77 season (with Browner, Fry, Bradley, and a host of tough linebackers returning). One preseason publication wrote “Dan Devine is waiting in the weeds” …and man oh man, were they ever right…what a crushing “D”…but for not playing JM against Mississippi, we would have been unbeatable…and we still won the NC despite that loss! I don’t want to take anything away from Mississippi, or their coaching staff…they completely surprised us coming out in the “bone” – though to my knowledge, they’d never used it before…but the game needs this asterisk…* “Joe Montana was sitting on the bench.” Even so, the “D” only gave up 21 points in that game, despite the nasty surprise. But that was enough for the loss with a stuttering, bumbling offense. I think we could be that good this year (sans a “Browner” of course, but not sans a “Golic” or maybe even a “Bradley”!) I can’t wait for labor day weekend…and I will be going to the (probably overpriced) Michigan game!

        BGC ’77 ’82

      2. Agree on Newsome completely. As for Yoon, in the Citrus Bowl it looked like a man against boys. Yeah, I know, as someone famously said, “all kickers are head cases”…and Yoon does have his “Bad” game every year…but overall, I’d pick Yoon first for my team if I was going into overtime in a big game! That kid is money compared to opposing kickers we faced during the year.


    2. Lots of good points. I’m also optimistic for the season; but I’m not quite ready to let myself hope for 12-0.

      My biggest concern is the late season slides that seem to happen too frequently under Kelly. Maybe it’s scheduling, maybe it’s something in our conditioning program, I don’t know. But what I’d really like to see next season is the team get better every game. Just steady improvement from week to week. If that happens, we’ll be awfully tough come USC.

      1. I agree 100% Keith…the road problems and the late year slide are the issues that could wreck our dreams…but I think we improve on the road (the Citrus Bowl performance was a good start there). The “end of the year slide” has yet to be addressed. So I’m calling 11-1, not 12-0…but I see the possibility of shoving it in the NCAA’s face with a 12-0, and Lord knows, I’d love to see that!

        La Crosse, Indiana

  9. My Wife looked over my shoulder at one of Duranko’s long posts. ” what are you reading so seriously” I said these are posts from very loyal Notre Dame faithful. She got curious and glanced a little. She stood back and said ” I didn’t know Notre Dame had a player named Judas Iscariot”
    My politician brother was whooping it up at a St. Paddys Party years ago. It was held in the Church Hall. Suddenly He and another Politician got louder than the party itself. They took it outside. Next door was the Rectory and the 2nd story window opened and the Pastor yelled out, ” I have the 6:30 am Mass tomorrow and need to get some sleep, take your Political argument to the street. The two combatant Politicians later became close friends. They were of the same political persuasion, very staunch in their beliefs, not budging an inch. There is an old saying ” an Irishmans heart is not at rest til He is in the middle of a fight” Duranko and SteelfanRob can run on the Fightin’Irish ticket. They got my vote.

    1. But Tim Finnegan thought he was at rest and dead, but then
      a row and a ruction soon began
      and the liquor splattered over Tim

      So are the Irish ever permanently at rest?

  10. For Southside, Curme, crazy mike and Greg Kelly

    I just need some counsel from some of the board mavens here. I get confused once in a while.

    I’ve been in a contretemps or two, but I always like to know the charges against me, so I’d appreciate your guidance on these matters.

    “Don’t lump me in with that Judas Iscariot “Duranko”!

    Now I don’t want identify who said this, but his initials are
    Bobby the Tomlin hater

    “Regardless, I’m done with you. You want to continue to kvetch about me in your obsessive manner, that’s on you. Perhaps you have some mortal sin about same sex attraction to confess tomorrow, “Duranko”!

    Again, I protect my sources, but you can figure out the author.

    Now, I’m rife with questions

    What am I here, a Judas or a faygele? All of the above, none of the above?
    Was Judas a faygelle?
    What is the appropriate gift to this kind, gentle soul I ought proffer?
    Do you think he would certify either my Iscariotism or faygeleness, especially the latter.

    there are a few women from my youth…….

    A little help here, lads,
    confused, in cyberspace, ”

    Happy Eastering!

    1. I’m not a board maven, and I’m not weighing in on any “Wars” and I’m certainly not going to start applying Yiddish labels to people.

      But (I’ve earned the right to start sentences with prepositions) for what it’s worth, I think you have some good things to say. And (again, I’m allowed to do this) as an English teacher, I’m thrilled to see the word “contretemps.” I’ve had a contretemp with you, and it was resolved respectfully. I think you’re ok, for what it’s worth.

      I also think SFR is ok. I don’t know who “Bobby the tomlin hater” is, but I probably think he’s ok, too. Most people on this board are decent people. Even the ones I don’t agree with. Except David. I’m now fully convinced that he’s an ND hating troll (I suspended judgement as long as I reasonably could). David deserves a Yiddish label; I just don’t know enough Yiddish to give him one.

      So I guess my vote, which was not requested, is that we should just stop with the name-calling unless it’s directed toward David (who totally deserves it).

      1. Well, shucks, thanks for the “official” approval.

        Who was it that said the prohibition (a conjoined twin of the prohibition about starting a sentence that you mentioned) against ending a sentence with a preposition is a restriction “up with
        which I will not put!”?

        I tried an oblique homage to you, Keith, in one of my posts, when discussing ND’s #2 strength and nutrition guy Ballou (one very able operative) returned to his-and your-alma mater-in Bloomington.

        Meshugginah David? Oy vey, his posts are just so much gefilte fish!

        Slainte, Keith (I believe that is Gaelic)

      2. Duranko,

        It’s credited to Churchill but I’m not sure it was ever confirmed. Sounds like him–according to the myths I’ve learned, anyway.

        I appreciate the oblique homage–but I still don’t know why anyone would ever leave Notre Dame for Bloomington. I came home whenever I could. Maybe that’s a product of growing up in the ND shadow and watching way too much WNDU.

        Slaint agad sa, Duranko

        (I don’t have time to google the Yiddish.)

  11. Having gone through Catholic Schools myself ( 1st to 12th) I always loved Religion class the most. As a Senior our Head football coach for homeroom didn’t even take roll, he had the sports page hiding his face. But, ah, religion class I always looked forward to, it was mixed ( many hot looking fillies) and you really got to know what one thought. Very heated discussions, just like SFR and Duranko. This feud will never end, it’s the nature of Religion class.

    1. Check you hole card, NDcrazymike, check your hole card.

      I ain’t heard no fat lady singing.

      But I do have ashes on my forehead. They did the thing from Matty 5 about not doing your alms in public. One wonders about the applicability of that to somebody who uses Lent as a stent for an argument, don’t ya think?

      They’ve gone back to an English translation of the revered Latin:
      “Memento homo, quia pulvus es, et in pulverem reverteris.”

      Nice (an occasional whiff of Latin triggers nice synapses) Just don’t get me near any Tridentines!

    2. Crazymike and Greg , like that you bring some humor on this board– trait sorely lacking. Need more Burgey one-liners to. Trying to inject humor, wit , sarcasm can back fire –but that the chances one takes. I kinda like a variety of comments and able to be serious and yet have some fun with some humorous comments. We got some really serious folks on here — incapable of having any sense of humor. GO iRISH !

  12. NCAA is a joke. ND self reports an issue, does the right thing in my opinion and still slaps ND with vacated wins. UNC gets away with it because ‘everyone was doing it’.

    With PSU they rush in without doing an investigation, gets embarrassed and has to walk back, when if they had done a proper investigation, the sanctions would have stuck.

    They ham hand the Miami scandal.

    But ND. ND does what’s it’s supposed to do and gets bashed. Fr. Jenkins made a good point. ND could have just not self-reported it and nothing would have happened.

    And that’s what riles me up more than anything. ND plays by the rules and gets slapped. This is peanuts compared to the UNC scandal, and they got nothing. Why. Because everyone was doing it. What a joke.

    1. Also you got to love the NCAA’s perverted reasoning. They are all but encouraging schools to look the other way when cheating occurs. If ND just looked the other way and pretended nothing happened, then basically the NCAA is saying it never happened. Mark my words, other schools are taking note how the NCAA handled UNC and ND and will adjust accordingly. CFB is a huge moneymaker for schools, and many CFB powerhouses out there will adjust their policies accordingly to protect their football teams.

  13. Thanks to all of you for the kind thoughts (and prayers, presumably) for my wife, Helene. She’s had an awfully bad year so far…pneumonia, then a nasty leg break…by the way, the surgeon had to re-replace her knee as well…so now she has a replacement of a replacement knee!

    As for the war between Duranko and SFR…you guys don’t agree on some things, but you are on the same side! Knock it off already. You are both good fans and good posters.

    As for the 11-1 prediction, I was going to wait to see what happens in the off-season training before making my prediction for 2018…but I am completely confident that there will be a repeat of the hard work and diligence of last year’s team…so I give it now…11- 1 with a playoff berth (there will be one road loss, most likely @ VT or @ USC…but I only make this prediction assuming the kind of accurate passing game we saw during the last 32 minutes of the Citrus Bowl…without that, if we go back to a 48% completion rate…all bets are off.

    BGC ’77 ’82

    1. BGC,

      First, let me add me best wishes for your bride’s full and speedy recovery. If she’s married to such a class act like you, she must be an equally classy lady. God’s speed!

      Second, however, I know you can read. You therefore must have read my attempts to put my “war” with bogus “Duranko” to an end. I even appealed to his alleged Christianity to no avail. I wished him and his a blessed Lent. What was his oh so “Christian” response?! Vitriol, hatred, animosity!

      So please don’t lecture me, please. I’m on record on here several times trying to make peace with several other posters. Not one has had the common or even Christian decency to accept.

      Don’t lump me in with that Judas Iscariot “Duranko”!

    1. Rob, you don’t get it and, most probably, never well.

      Nobody forced Notre Dame to join or remain in the NCAA.

      Notre Dame appealed, lost and will move on. The NCAA decision matters not a whit to the daily activiites of
      the University of Notre Dame.

      You are an accomplished expert in hatred, animosity and vitriol.

      You know little about Notre Dame’s values and priorities

      You’ll never get it, you’re an outsider feigning inside knowledge.

      Notre Dame is complex.
      You are not Notre Dame
      Notre Dame is not you.

      1. The NCAA is objectively corrupt. That’s not a matter of my personal belief. Look at how they lifted sanctions on PSU and USC, for far worse crimes than ND.

        I don’t care how or why ND joined the NCAA. But I certainly think it’s high time we realize that ND shouldn’t be attached at the hip to these hucksters!

        By their fruits you shall know them!

        By your own words, “Duranko,” you condemn yourself of “hatred, animosity, and vitriol.”

        Others on here have attested to my attempts to be conciliatory. So be it!

        Finally , if being of ND means thinking like you, charlatan, then thank God I’m not of ND!

        BTW: It’s so sad that either “Duranko” is really such a spiritually barren person or that he’s just stirring things for “entertainment” for those on here who find vitriol entertaining!

    2. Rob you can suck your thumb all you want till you turn blue in the face. You can throw all the hissy fits you want.

      It’s “Murica

      But Notre Dame will, thank you, take the beams out of its own eye.

      Quit because of an adverse decision? Notre Dame is not wimpy, whiny enough to do that.

      Notre Dame will remain in the NCAA. ND doesn’t cut and run. Plus, the NCAA provides a convenient, albeit imperfect, to be expected in this vale of tears, umbrella for the many men’s and women’s sports that ND student-athletes play.

      Again, you wail, you whine, you point fingers. That’s you.

      But you are a fool if you think that Notre Dame thinks anything like you do.

      Hey, we got a constitution, be angry and a angry, pouty bottom feeder all you want.

      But don’t ever think for a millisecond that ND shares your values.

      1. Did you actually read Fr. Jenkins’s response?! Do you read or just like to hear yourself talk?! Seems like he’s not ND enough for “Duranko” either.

        I don’t know if you’re a tool for this site or just a tool, “Duranko”. I don’t care. I offered you an olive branch. In typical “Duranko” fashion you showed your true degenerate colors.

        I’m sure on Ash Wednesday you’ll show up early to church to go through your hypocritical motions. You’re nothing but a Simon Magus, “Duranko”!

        For you faith is really superstition, you wolf in sheep’s clothing! What you know of true Christian faith fits in a thimble with room to spare.

        Regardless, I’m done with you. You want to continue to kvetch about me in your obsessive manner, that’s on you. Perhaps you have some mortal sin about same sex attraction to confess tomorrow, “Duranko”!

  14. BGC , I to wish a speedy recovery to Mrs Curme. May I also add — that your 11 wins prediction had me tipping a jar of Guiness this morning. Reading other posts today , is it possible that the SFR/DURANKO peace talks are on the table ? One has to wonder if the South Koreans/North Koreans marching together in the Olympics Open Cereromy has led to comaradie among posters. Looking forward to spring practice and the 2018 Fighting Irish.

    1. We can only pray for peace this Lenten season. If not, then what’s the point of ritual feasts? Superstition, perhaps?!

    2. Southside, as you know, football is about the GAME, not the Poll.

      When Rita is playing St. Lawrence, the energy of that 3 hours of bloody combat is what counts. Not the write up of the
      Sun Times, the Tribune or Johnny Morris on WBBM.

      So too with Notre Dame. It is the three hours of combat.

      There are parasites, like ESPN, polls, ESPN, talking heads, ESPN (did I mention them?) and polls. they are for the people
      who have been took, been had, been BAMBOOZLED.

      In ’66 that fateful day in East Lansing, with an appropriately tied game was elegant. A football game like no other.

      More elegant than the polls afterward. Or the pathetic arguments from Tuscaloosa.

      Football is for men.

      Polls and ratings are for chumps.

  15. Damian, Irish could get that NC when we all least expect it. Remember Ara coming in and going 9-1 in inaugural season, after 2-7 under Devore or Kuharich. I was just 11 or so and my Dad would tell me the Irish will come back. Strange things occur at Notre Dame. Could probably get 20:1 going into Season. Good deal, Irish will get last laugh this time around. After all the points we put up on the board this coming season the Leprechaun will get quite a push-up workout. May need two.
    For all of you that don’t like our current coach, you should hope He wins NC, He would then be super marketable and move on.

  16. A better then average recruiting cycle to be sure, better still because the Irish stumbled late in the season. I’m not sure how much the win against LSU helped, but a loss would have hurt, I have no doubt.

    But I keep coming back to development. At Cincinnati BK had a pretty good record of getting the most out of his players. One of the reasons I wanted him hired back in 2010. But at ND it’s been a disappointment, esp. at QB.

    I know some like SFR feel ND may need to re-evaluate it’s philosophy if it wants to win NC’s. I’m not sure that’s necessary though. While I don’t have a problem with looking at adjustments to the finer details, I’m not ready to say ND can’t succeed in the current environment. Part of that is ND is getting top 10 classes. That should make ND competitive in any game. They didn’t get blown out by Miami because Miami has better players (we learned that is clearly not the case later in their season). ND got outcoached and ND was not prepared.

    In short, I see the problem with the Irish as a coaching problem, not a player problem. BK will be back next year for better or worse. Elko unfortunately is gone and I feel he had great potential. However, I think that’s been mitigated by the promotion of Lea, an Elko disciple who will maintain continuity. So I think defensively we should see continued progress. Offense, well that was up and down to say the least. Explosive one game, impotent another. That will need some work. ST’s. Well, what can be said about that? Will that be enough to get over the hump? Well, we’ll see.

    1. Damian,

      My point is that ND has “reevaluated” its philosophy aplenty in the past to accommodate its football program. The last time was before hiring Lou.

      Perhaps if the powers that be had then shown the same flexibility and reevaluated the status of the program, Urban Meyer would’ve taken his “dream job”! ND might’ve become Bama before Bama.

      The proof is in the pudding, Damian. ND football is and has been mediocre for over two decades now! I for one would like to see ND football reclaim its birthright at the top of the sport!

      Wouldn’t it be nice for ND football to be great again, to shut up “David” if nothing else?!

      1. Ugh, I just tried to post a comment and lost it.

        My main point though was as long as I see coaching as an issue, I’m not in favor of making significant changes to how ND operates (tweaks and adjustments are fine–as long as they maintain their overall philosophy). And I’m not sure it would matter as long as coaching remains an issue.

        A big part of the problem over the last 20+ years has been coaching too. D/D/W were disasters. BK, well, I don’t really blame them for hiring him. At the time he was hired, he was the hot up and coming coach, and I know a lot of us wanted BK. ND finally got their man on the first go around. No O’Leary or Meyer debacles this time. But as the years went by it became more and more clear he is just not a NC caliber coach. He’s not as bad as Weis. A lot of schools would probably be thrilled with BK. He’ll get you winning seasons most years and even the surprise win over a top 10 team now and again. But NC’s, no, I just don’t think that’s in the cards for him.

        I think BK’s an ok guy. I don’t have any animosity like some who shall remain nameless do. If ND did the improbable under BK and won a NC next year I’d be thrilled. But I just don’t think he has any more cards to play. It’s always going to be ‘maybe next year’ under BK. There’ll be some promising moments that make you think we’re almost there. Just one more assistant, just one more QB, one more defensive lineman. But the goal will always stay elusive, just over the horizon.

    2. Here’s what I can’t get over, and this is personal.

      I started following the Irish closely in ’63. That was Hugh Devore and 2-7.

      Over the next 25 years the Irish won four national championships in ’66, ’73, ’77 and ’88,

      That was nice, really. I enjoyed the victories. It was especially touching because for two of those championships I had either been in class with, played hoop with, drunk beer with or ate rib tips with one of more of the starters.

      It was enjoyable.

      But it did not significantly alter or upgrade my personal or professional life, My Christian/Catholic walk, or my family’s well-being. Because I had an exroomate go to Michigan for Law School, and worked closely at a company with a guy who is
      now a USC trustee, I grew beyond hatred and animosity toward those two rivals. Again, winning is nice and fun, but losing is not a disaster.

      As I saw money and Nike swooshes and bottom feeders like Meyer, the gatherer of thugs like Hill, Hernandez and Harvin ,prosper, come into the game and get accolades from people with no principles and no ethics. I saw Tom Osborne, a Christian man and later a Congressman, let Lawrence Phillips play and star after Lawrence threw Kate McEwen down a flight of stairs. I saw “DA U,” who were fun and colorful, come near the death penalty. I saw sleazeball Ron Meyer coach SMU and the Pony Express into the death penalty.

      I grew ever comfortable with “What doth it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul.”

      It’s been 30 years since ’88. I root for Notre Dame and its football team. I’ll be surprised if that changes.

      What if we won four championships in the next 23 years, a scenario I’ve enjoyed?. Well, that would be nice.
      What if won no championships in the next 30 years, a scenario I’ve recently experienced.

      Well. that is not as nice. But I will still root on the irish.

      Either way, EITHER WAY, , it will have no effect on my family’s Christian/Catholic life. It will not stop Boko Haram from murdering little girls. It will probably not reduce the 60,000 US Drug overdose deaths we had in ’16, it will probably not reduce America’s pandemic obesity epidemic, and it will probably not bring peace to either the Sinai or Korean peninsualas..

      I enjoy the challenge of watching ND’s coaches assemble a coaching staff and a roster, and then play on Saturdays.
      I understand that Rockne was the greatest change agent EVER in American sports, and that expanded stadiums, modern, Michiana-proof turf, neo-Box formations and colorful uniforms are things Rock would have done.

      I follow ND football and am not miserable about it. That will not change. That is a choice and a commitment.

      What am I missing?

      1. According to your logic, you’re missing nothing, “Duranko”.

        I do appreciate your position. It’s sensible, no doubt. Needless to say, if you really practice what you preach you’re saving yourself a lot of frustration. Good for you!

        But last time I checked, “Duranko,” sport was about competing and competing for titles and not merely showing up.

        We are talking about ND football and not the state of Israeli-Palestinian relations or divergent eschatological views, right?

        I want ND to win. At the cost of its soul? Never! In fact, I’m on record on here saying I’d prefer to see ND play in the Ivy League rather than become a football factory.

        But I think reevaluating how things are done from time to time isn’t heretical, “Duranko.” It’s been done before at ND!

        Blessings to you and yours this Lenten season!

      2. Bruce, this is inside baseball.. They were Lee’s Ribs, but we took them to go. I’m not going to name drop, but the driver was a lengthy lineman from Oklahoma, the third guy thought he was some kind of quarterback, and later thought
        he was some kind of offensive coordinator. you can figure it out.

  17. What is noteworthy here is that Notre Dame, over the last few years, has significantly changed its recruiting cadre.

    In the last two years, guys like Polian, Elko, Lea and Joseph have significant recruiting credentials. Sure, Elko left, but
    Notre Dame has a bunch of guys who were former recruiting coordinators, like Elston, Polian, Long and Joseph.

    It’s challenging to quantify the value of bringing Bill Rees in. He’s like a libero in soccer, he simply cleans things up.
    The Fleminster addition has his fingerprints all over it.

    And our three Notre Dame alumni, Denson, Lyght and Tom Rees? Well, I’ll take my chances with them.

    There are some guys Notre Dame will not go near.

    A certain Midwestern coach, when he was in the South making his bones, picked up Percy Harvin, a known troublemaker at Virginia Beach, Aaron Hernandez, who ran with the wrong crowd in Connecticut, Will Hill, a misogynist’s misogynist
    and a QB from Atlanta who father was a bit shady and apparently had his paw out., Name of Newton.

    Nor will Notre Dame pursue kids with stage dads, which Steve Alford did at UCLA, pandering in a way that disgraced John Wooden’s legacy.

    In 2018, there are a lot of kids with sufficient grades who behave in the Notre Dame way, will not beat up teammates like Jared Fayson which Percy Harvin did, will not eventually murder, as Aaron Hernandez did, and neither mistreat nor serially demean women as Will Hill did.

    There are kids like Jamaree Salyer, Jayson Oweh, Thomas Booker, Sololmon Ttuiapupu and Nick Petit-Frere who have good families and will enhance rather than subtract from the campus.

    This year, the Irish picked up some great kids like Lenzy, Simon, Allen, Griffith, Lamb and Takacs.

    Next year the Irish must start closing on some of the high four/low five guys like Salyer, Oweh, Tuliapupu, Paytion Wilson Booker and Petit-Frere.

    Finally in 2018 we may have the staff and the system in place to accomplish that. We shall see.

    1. To add to your point that there are certain players ND won’t go near, I’d like to speculate that policy doesn’t hurt recruiting as much as people think.

      It takes a few elite athletes off the table, sure. But how many kids choose to come to Notre Dame because it’s someplace not everyone can go. That identity is something that draws people in. The protection of the brand has led to the reputation “you have to smart, talented, and decent person to play here.” Plenty of kids want to send that message by putting on those gold helmets.

      If Notre Dame opened up the loading docks to become a full-scale football factory, would it attract enough new recruits to make up for the ones looking to go someplace “special?” I’m not so sure it would.

  18. If you want to follow an “ND” football program of excellence, one that consistently competes for championships….and wins them…..and has not sold its soul to the corrupt, money-grubbing ethos that is big-time college sports….here’s a suggestion:

    Follow the ND State Bisons. Heck, you might even be able to re-use some of that ND fan gear trove.

    Or keep having your stubborn, irrational hearts broken watching mediocrity slipping steadily towards irrelevance.

    (Note: I mean competitive mediocrity & irrelevance, not economic irrelevance. That remains “top notch” for now, thank you).


      1. NDcrazymike,
        Jackass doesn’t need any more awards. He just needs to work on explaining away 11 wins and a playoff spot in 2018, because that is exactly what is coming. Unfortunately, I have not been posting much lately because my wife slipped on our handicapped ramp and broke her femur (shattered it actually), and spent nearly a week in two hospitals. She’s home now, but not in good shape. The femur had to be partially replaced because it was so badly shattered. More medical bills to follow!

        GO IRISH 2018!

        BGC ’77 ’82

      2. ND State football. …14 National Championships, 6 of them since 2011.

        No ‘all-caps’, no exclamation points, no irrational attacks.
        Do seek help. No one deserves to suffer like this.

  19. I have been watching this recruiting thing for a long time now.

    Yes, you do want to get the top recruits, but if they don’t want to be here its not worth fretting about.

    Be happy with the ones that want to play fot ND and hope next year you sign some 5 stars.

  20. We all knew from mid-season A ST. BROWN was going to USC!! Don’t u think Stanford thought they should get him because his other brother plays there? NPF was a loooooong shot! We should be thrilled with this recruiting class!! A year ago this team was 4 – 8 AND QUIT in some games! 10 – 3 in 2017 #11 in the polls! #10 recruiting class in the country!! #7 preseason rank for 2018!! NICE TURNAROUND IN 1 YEAR!! GO IRISH!!!!!!!!

  21. Couple hiccups not mentioned, Sarkisian, Kiffin, Orgeron. Todd Marinovich started at same football factory ( happens to be my alma mater) as Amon- Ra then Marv couldn’t take the pounding and moved on to inflate his passing stats. He found His niche, a great skate boarder and muralist. I was gonna hire him to do a mural on side of my building, but I moved out of SoCal to nice, sunny warm Minnesota

  22. Amon-Ra is a manufactured athlete. Same with all the St. Browns.

    Parents had the knowledge and resources to help them reach their peak early. Amon-Ra will probably have a career similar to EQ. Talented kid who got a great head start but has less room for growth.

    Not knocking them and the St. Brown’s have a great family. But kids who peak early like that aren’t guaranteed to be difference makers at the next level. The advantage they have over their peers disappears once everyone has access to a strength coach, proper nutrition, etc. Other kids catch up.

    Todd Marinovich came to USC as good as he was ever going to get. The St. Browns have their heads on straighter, that’s for sure, but they became high school all-Americans the same way Marinovich did. I just don’t think Amon-Ra’s ceiling is very far away.

    1. Fascinating post, Keith. I think that your conclusion is compounded by what some feel is a USC coach who more closely resembles Ted Tollner, Paul Hackett and Larry Smith than he does John McKay, John Robinson and Pete Carroll.

      I believe the LSU game was the antonym for meaningless for additional reasons.

      The Irish roared through the first 7 games and it was a validation of the offseason work with Balis and the now Bloomington-departed Ballou and the coordination of Long and Elko. There could have been doubt about that validation and it may have seemed a mirage after the November swoon, but for the Meaningful Bowl win.

      Second, the Irish offense struggled against the Southern Speed of Georgia and Miami. I thought it was wonderful
      that they were facing LSU’s quality of athletes, injuries or not, coached by the able Aranda. It will, with Georgia and Miami
      make good learning film for the offseason.

      Third, and this is either the law of unintended consequences or my own personal delusion. n. I think with Book’s performance that it lessens the pressure on Wimbush, as now it is clearly a more open competition. Wimbush must look forward rather than back. I respect that other reasonable minds may differ.

    2. Great observation, Keith. One may call it a “rationalizing” since ND missed on St.Brown. But I call it astute deduction. Bravo.

    3. Almost sounds like the “Big” Baller family structure starring LaVar, and co-starring Lonzo, LiAngelo, LaMelo and adopted kept in the closet son LemonGello!

  23. The author stated that the LSU bowl game was a “meaningless”game! If ND had lost that game, I don’t believe ND would have had a Top 10 recruiting year. No games are meaninglessness!

  24. NPF to Ohio State had me upset too. Then I read that Greg Shiano, the DC at OSU, coached him in high school after losing the
    Tampa Bay job. When the news got out that Shiano was going to the Patriots, NPF trended to us over Florida. When Shiano turned
    down the NE job, NPF went to OSU. That type of association is tough to overcome. Don’t think ND or Florida were ever in play as
    long as Shiano stayed in college. NPF would be at Tennessee if Shiano hadn’t been hammered by the students and Phil Fulmer.
    Hope Tennessee stays on the ropes. They deserve it. He didn’t spurn ND. Nothing BK could have done.

  25. Wimbush should take his cue from the Eagles, maybe he would be a better receiver than passer. Amon- Ra was on a team loaded with wideouts. He got single coverage. And His primadonna QB Daniels got pass protection from Tommy Brown ( Bama, signee) It was 7 on 7 ball. When Irish go west it will be 11on 11.
    John DeFillippo wins with only 2nd QB ( Foles ) from a PAC 12 School. Hopefully He is on our radar as He was grad ass’t at ND.

  26. i haven’t heard one negative post about this recruiting class. but it doesn’t surprise me that the ONE is coming from your negative ass. such a disgrace. please just stop doing and let’s get someone that’s not such a hyper, overreactive, ND hater.

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