Notre Dame football’s recruiting is different in so many ways under Marcus Freeman than it was under Brian Kelly. Not only are the Irish targeting and landing more highly ranked players than ever, but the vibe on campus when prospects visit is also notably different. Nothing sums up that difference more than Freeman driving 5-star running back Richard Young, who took an official visit during the week around town in a Ferarri.
Could anyone imagine Notre Dame Brian Kelly driving a recruit around in a Ferrari? Now that he’s at LSU and dancing on tables with recruits, maybe. The buttoned-up CEO Kelly, who never put in the amount of time into recruiting as Freeman has been already, never would have done it. Maybe he’ll drive recruits at LSU around in his new Tesla that almost every interview of him referenced in the spring.
Freeman driving Young around in a Ferrari while the 5-star running back was the only visitor during the week didn’t surprise anyone, though. Freeman has shown that he will be a tireless recruiter and is open to doing things differently than the Irish have done in the past.
Notre Dame’s team barber got Young a fresh cut at the start of the visit – something else that has become a part of Notre Dame’s official visits that previously was not.
Richard young ☘️ 💈 pic.twitter.com/NOjuGoGgxi— julioscutz (@julioscutz) June 14, 2022
Notre Dame entered Young’s visit as a decided underdog in the race. Everyone has Alabama as the odds-on favorite to ultimately land him, so the Irish needed to knock the visit out of the park to give them any chance. Did driving around in Freeman’s new Ferrari make all the difference in the world? No, but the one-on-one attention and the glitz and glamour of it is the kind of thing the Irish needed to do to have a chance.
The Irish are looking to add a second back to the class after landing a commitment from Jayden Limar a few weeks back. Young and 4-star RB Jeremiyah Love, who visits this weekend, are at the top of their list. Neither has a timeline set on their decision and both could stretch into the fall which, in the case of Young specifically, would be very good for Notre Dame. This was Young’s first look at Notre Dame. Getting him back on an unofficial visit in the fall for a game would be huge.
We’ll know soon if Notre Dame’s visit really moved the needle for the Irish with Young or if it just made for a good story. Notre Dame’s effort here, though, shouldn’t go unnoticed for a prospect that many felt the Irish trailed heavily. That didn’t deter Freeman or his staff in their pursuit of a 5-star player, though, and that attitude will lead to more 5-star players signing with the Irish in the future, even if Young doesn’t end up being one of them.