Recruiting has drastically changed since Covid-19 hit the country. These unprecedented times have called for innovative recruiting efforts for college football programs. Virtual campus tours and video communications are now the new norm throughout football. At the forefront of Notre Dame’s recruiting effort is Hoosier native Blake Fisher, his efforts on and off the field have built close bonds with the recruits across the country.
Blake Fisher Profile
- Position: Offensive Tackle
- Class: 2021
- Ranking: #54 Overall, #8 OT According to 247 Sports
- Hometown: Avon, Indiana
- High School: Avon High School
- Commitment: June 15, 2019
Fisher’s Recruiting Efforts
1-Year anniversary of Fisher’s commitment. The in-state talent showed his loyalty to the Irish with an early commitment last Summer. Since then, he has been striving to make the Class of 2021 one of the best under Coach Brian Kelly. His presence on social media rivals his passion on the field. Every prospect who discusses, commits, or even mentions the Irish, Fisher is there to embrace and support.
Social Media Recruiting. Even though commits live across the country and rarely meet in person, they still build strong relationships. This past weekend, Gabriel Rubio was visiting South Bend and took it upon himself to stop by Indianapolis to meet up with Blake Fisher, a genuine unity.
On May 21st, Blake Fisher tweeted, “The university of Notre Dame is the BEST University in the world in all aspects!!” A tweet that received 1,181 likes. Fisher’s status and influence cannot be undervalued.
Two-Horse Race. Even though the Irish will not be facing the Michigan Wolverines on the field again until 2033, they will undoubtedly have many recruiting battles off the field. Spindler recently announced his Top 5, which included LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Penn State. For Kelly and the Irish to finish strong, they must get a commitment from the him, the #44 player in the country according to 247 Sports.
Irish look to continue O Line U. Brian Kelly has produced the past, present, and future for the feared Notre Dame Offensive Line. Former Irish standouts Zack Martin, Ronnie Stanley, and Quenton Nelson accounted for 3 of the 5 offensive linemen on the NFL’s All Pro Team last season.
Undoubtedly, recruiting along the offensive line is a major recruiting advantage in South Bend. With Blake Fisher and Pat Coogan already committed, the Irish are looking to add Spindler to the 2021 class.
Recruiting Dead Period
NCAA extends recruiting Dead-Period through July 31st. According to the Notre Dame Football program, “No in-person on or off campus contact between prospects and our coaches/staff.” The University of Notre Dame has one of the most historic and stunning campuses in the country, and not getting player on official visits hurts. It is up to the coaches to get innovative during these times.
Virtual Campus Visits. Notre Dame Athletics has moved forward with simulated campus visits and they have been quite successful. Notre Dame Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Brey even said that it has helped him land 2 commitments. The tours may not be ideal, but due to COVID-19 it is better than no visit at all.
Notre Dame vs. Clemson Recruiting Weekend. If recruits can attend games, this will be a monumental recruiting day for the Fighting Irish. It would be devasting if this game is not played and unfortunate for the recruiting efforts of the program. Notre Dame’s leading recruiter, Blake Fisher, was most certainly be there for this matchup and get to bond with the nation’s top athletes.
2021 Recruiting Class
Irish land recruits amid quarantine. Even with COVID-19 the Irish have been able to pickup several commitments, with the help of new Cornerback’s Coach Mike Mickens from Cincinnati. Notre Dame bolstered their secondary with 4-Star Philip Riley and 3-Star Ryan Barnes.
Blake Fisher’s contributions to 2021 Class. It is hard to quantify the relationships built with recruits off the field, but Fisher has helped build lasting contacts with the best players in the country. On Fisher’s birthday, former Notre Dame Prospect Will Shipley said, “Happy birthday to the man Blake Fisher Brothers for life!!!”
Even though the Irish lost the recruiting battle, the fact they were neck and neck with a running back prospect in Clemson’s backyard is a testament to Fisher and the Notre Dame coaching staff.
Recruiting in 2020 is unique. In the era of social media and immediate gratification, recruiting is completely different than when Brian Kelly first started at Notre Dame. Building lasting bonds with teammates and coaches is one of the most important aspects of recruiting. During a worldwide pandemic, this is even more difficult.
Irish must finish strong. Currently, the Fighting Irish have the 11th recruiting class in the country, but there is still work to be done. For better or worse, Notre Dame tends to slide down the recruiting rankings closer to National Signing Day. It is vital for the program to maintain Top 15 classes and hopefully a Top 10 class this year.