Notre Dame’s Top Recruit: “Coach Kelly leaving wasn’t really a big deal for me because he didn’t recruit me that much”

The stories of Brian Kelly’s lack of involvement in recruiting at times have been coming out of the woodwork now that Bayou Brian is the head man at LSU. The latest comes from Jaylen Sneed, Notre Dame’s top recruit in the class of 2022. When asked recently about whether or not Kelly’s departure impacted him, the uber-talented, 5-star linebacker gave an honest answer about how Kelly wasn’t involved much in his recruiting.

“Coach Kelly leaving wasn’t really a big deal for me because he didn’t recruit me that much,” Sneed told WJCL’s Frank Sulkowski in the clip below.

There have been numerous stories of Kelly’s lackadaisical approach to recruiting despite his stated goals of signing top-5 classes at Notre Dame over the years. Recently, Tom Lemming told the Chris Zorich podcast that Kelly cared more about golfing than recruiting. Conversely, Marcus Freeman has stated repeatedly since taking over as head coach that he better be the #1 recruiter for every prospect Notre Dame is targeting as the head coach.

To think that Kelly wasn’t heavily involved in the recruitment of a 5-star linebacker from the South is really unimaginable. Notre Dame struggled for years to land linebackers like Sneed. The head coach should have been all over his recruitment.

Time will tell if Freeman is able to raise the ceiling of Notre Dame’s overall recruiting efforts the way he did on the defensive side of the ball in 2022 when Notre Dame pulled in their best linebacker class in nearly 30 years along with landing a pair of stud defensive ends and a pair of 4-star corners in addition to some other high upside prospects. If he’s able to do the same on the offensive side of the ball, Notre Dame shouldn’t find itself in the position it is in now at wide receiver.

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  1. If only this kid had said:
    “Kelly’s leaving was the best thjng that could have happened. I hated that pompous prick, but wanted to play here despite him. Now, things look a lot clearer!”

    He’d be a legend the day he arrived.

  2. Clemson not too bad Boyd,Watson, Lawrence 2 national championships, Ohio State, Miller Barrett, Haskins, Fields, Cj Stroud Oklahoma, mayfield , murrey.., Hurst, Caleb William’s. Your right though not many schools outside of 3 or 4.

    1. “Clemsoning” was a nationwide adjective until Lawrence retired it. With him gone, Clemson has quickly gone back to being an also-ran. The mythologizing of Clemson football and Swinney by ADD America might already be over.

      tOSU is famous for its linemen and running backs…critical for any QB to prodice gaudy stats.
      Et voila: Buckeye QBs are renowned for being busts on the NFL.
      (Burrow might have changed that, but he couldn’t see the field. Triva answer Dayne Haskins got picked in the first round.)

      1. True, David but just judging by how good they were in college Ohio State and both Clemson and Oklahoma over the last 8 to 10 years produced high level Heisman trophy level quarterbacks Notredame did not. That’s why Clemson Ohio State won national championships, play off games and were far more competitive in the big games than Notredame along with Saban Dabo, Meyer superior to Brian big game Kelly. Also Sam Bradford won the Heisman and took Oklahoma to a number 2 finish. Although he never has done much in the nfl.

      2. I don’t put as much stock in the Heisman as you.
        ‘Chicken vs. egg’ argument:
        Did the QB by himself make a good team exceptional, and therefore deserve Heisman consideration?
        Or do quite capable QBs on the best-coached, fantastic teams get undeserved individual credit because it’s such a high visibility position?

        IMO, once ND puts the calibre of talent on the field to win a championship, the Heisman nominations will follow. Not the other way round.

      3. Yes talent and coaching go together and for the most part Notredame most years under Kelly the talent and coaching wasn’t there compared to Alabama,Clemson Ohio State.. The only year Imo it was there talent wise was In 2015. The reason I say that is Notredame went 10 and 2 and the 2 losses was on bad coaching Van gorder and Kelly. They lost to Clemson by 2 points and Clemson played for the national championship and lost in the last second 45 to 40 to Alabama. Also lost to Stanford on a field goal as time expired. Notredame had two great backs, CJ Prosise and Josh Adam’s, 2 speed burners outside Will Fuller , Chris Brown a great tight end and Stanley Nelson Watt all drafted into the NFL. Also Notredames defense that year had studs drafted in the nfl. Jaylon Smith, Sheldon Day Kevarie Russell and more. The difference Clemson had Deshawn Watson Notredame had Deshawn Kizer . Clemson had Brent Vennables Notredame had Brian Vangorder. Finally Dabo vs Kelly. Not even close imo. Kizer wasn’t that good . He turned the ball over a lot and could hit 7 passes in a row and then go 1 for 10 on his next 11 throws.

  3. Deion Sanders has been shown on TV more in the past 90 minutes as a crippled Flavor Flav impersonator on the sideline than he was in his entire HOF career on the field.

  4. Don’t often agree with David, but he does however, come up with excellent college football knowledge, like his 3 things ruining our favorite game. (see above)

  5. It’s somewhat ironic to me that BK ended up at LSU. The bayou bastards have almost always been a good QB away from elite. They never seem to be able to get and keep an elite QB. When they have had serviceable play (Russell) or a transfer (Ohio Joe) they win national championships. They get the speed and talent everywhere else but not at QB.

    Great example is the Baylor backup that looked amazing in relief after their starter went down. He was a 4 star kid from freaking Baton Rouge and went to Baylor…

    Yet, their great hope is BK who has proven he can’t coach elite QBs. Even when elite recruits come to him he fails (Chryst, Jurc).

    Wouldn’t it be sweet if we could get the recently unemployed Cutcliff to come back and fulfill that Weiss Era QB coach contract?

    1. Heres’ the schools that reload Heisman quality QBs at will:
      USC, once upon a time.
      That’s the list.

      If you think this is the critical single ingredient to winning a natinoal championship, you might as well start watching (your much reviled) SEC football. Because it’s a good bet that’s where the next one will be playing, even if Alabama whiffs on him.
      And with NIL making crooked boosters totaly legit, that hold will only get tighter.

      The second best bet might again be USC.

      1. I don’t “much revile” the SEC….as I have mentioned I reside in an SEC college town and envy the passion the fans show. My issue is with those that hold the SEC as this amazing by all end all of college ball.

        The team in my hometown is essentially on level with a NC State, or UCLA or any number of other occasionally good, usually mediocre teams. Yet, the fans act like they are somehow above all other teams because they are in the SEC. The SEC level arrogance when the conference’ s greatness is essentially attributable to one school is ridiculous.

        They play an 8 game conference schedule and then fill in Mercer, Charlotte, New Mex State and other FCS or FBS cellar dwellers and then claim they have the toughest schedules in the country. Give ND a schedule where they play Vandy, Kentucky, SCAR, Tennessee, Florida, Missouri, Georgia, Miss State and then 4 FCS schools. This year UGA would be tough no doubt. But no other game would be considered an automatic loss.

        Alabama is the top of the pack no doubt. Occasionally LSU or Florida or UGa of maybe even Auburn have a great year. But how is that different than Big10 with Ohio State, ACC with Clemson….
        SEC is considered the “hardest” “best” “most entertaining” for one reason. Their early unholy soul selling to ESPN and how ESPN tells everyone they are.

        Maybe the ultimate outcome of the NIL and transfer portal and realignment stuff will actually lead to a super league where all the real best teams are together and play each other. As much as I hate to see college ball become mini NFL, at least seeing the folks in Columbia, Starkville, Fayetteville, Nashville, Oxford and the like face the reality that they can’t ride Bama coattails anymore would be nice.

      2. Sorry you took it as an insult. Judging from your posts it is apparent you lack the ability to have a discussion, to have a debate without ad hominem and to actually comprehend what is written. It isn’t an insult to suggest you work to overcome obvious flaws.

  6. Kelly was a mistake. An average cosch who got run over by the big boys. His behavior towards the players was despicable . Good Riddance from 1965 ND grad who’s uncles played for Rockne !!!!

  7. I really think we should pick up Dillon Gabriel from the transfer portal. Kid is super accurate. I’m not confident in Buchner yet. Gabriel is proven and would be great to pick him up to give Buchner one more year of development.

    1. Getting anyone with the unrealistic level of QB skill that the ND fanbase endlessly expects to show up, and forego playing in the competitvely premier, sunny and warm, and now even higher-paying south would require ND to come up with “SEC money plus”.

      Tom Rees should just go get a QB coach…..finding and coaching up overlooked 3 and 4 stars is all there is.

  8. 3 things ruining college football (in no particular order):

    NIL deals
    10-minute replay delays on too many goddamn plays.
    Targeting calls.

  9. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that ND pulled in its best two classes in 2021 and 2022 since 2013 after Freeman came onboard and both those classes have a number of top defensive guys in them. If Freeman can get recruit as well on the offensive side of the ball as he can on the defensive side, then ND might actually become a real threat.

  10. There have been stories like this from time to time for quite a while. Lathan Ransom comes to mind. Then Amorion Walker. Say what we want about him stringing us along before going to Michigan, but if Harbaugh was calling him twice a week and Kelly only called him once after his commitment, that says more about Kelly than it does about Walker to my mind. Maybe Walker was waiting to see whether Kelly would start upping his game, and he never did.

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