Just hearing the name “ Notre Dame” sparks feelings of love and hate across the country. From Boston to San Francisco one can find the loyalist of Irish fans, and the biggest of doubters.
This is the reason why Notre Dame is one of few schools that has the ability to recruit the entire country versus just its region.
However this sentiment may be though, Notre Dame still needs to recruit its home state well especially in 2020 with the amount of talent Indiana.
It’s no secret that Indiana has provided the irish with players who have made their imprint on Notre Dame history. In recent history, ND can attribute its home state to icons who have contributed to recent success.
Tyler Eifert heiled from Fort Wayne Indiana’s Bishop Dwenger, and went on to become a captain on an undefeated ‘12 team as well a contributing piece to ND’s image as TE U.
Bishop Chatard in Indianapolis was home to the Martin Brothers before they became all Americans at Notre Dame. Zack is now the highest paid guard in professional football as well as a perennial All-Pro.
And shall fans never forget the gift received from Fort Wayne’s Bishop Luers in Jaylon Smith who would become the Butkus award winner, as well as the most exciting ND defensive player these eyes have seen.
In the grand scheme of college football, Indiana will never be seen as a hot spring for talent, but that doesn’t mean it’s dry either. IN 2015 alone, Notre Dame signed four players from the Hooiser state – Asmar Bilal, Mykelti Williams, Josh Barajas, and Brandon Tiassum. Of that group, only Bilal has become a starter, but all but Tiassum had 4-stars on various services.
With all that said, let’s take a look at some key in state players for the Irish coaching staff for the class of 2020.
Already on Campus
Jack Kiser – Hailing from Royal Center, Indiana Kiser is a unanimous 3-star Linebacker who is already enrolled at Notre Dame. Kiser is a big time early enrolee simply because he will add depth at a position ND is losing a lot at. Unfortunately Kiser will reportedly miss all of spring practice with a shoulder injury.
Replacing Drue Tranquil and Tevon Coney will be no easy task, having Kiser on campus early gave him the potential to play in the fall if needed before the injury. Kiser’s potential to play this fall is now much cloudier.
As a prospect himself, Kiser is a 6’2 206 LB recruit who showed athleticism all over the field in High School. A quick google of Kiser will show countless people raving about his commitment to the game.
I’m not ready to proclaim him the next Jaylon Smith, but I’ll take a 3 star kid with a 5 star heart anyday.
Class of 2020
This section is a little harder because ND has actually offered many of these kids, but there are certain recruits that I wouldn’t be shocked to see ND target pretty heavy.
Cole Brevard – The Only Indiana player in the 2020 class that Rivals has graded as a 4-star prospect. Cole Brevard, a 6’4 280 LB DT has many offers already including one from the Irish.
Mike Elston has been hot on the recruiting trail lately, and I would,’t be shocked to see him set his sights on the biggest prize in Indiana. There will be stiff competition especially considering Clemson seems to be very intrigued by Brevard, but let’s see if Elston can convince this kid to stay a little closer to home.
Deontae Craig – A 3 star defensive end prospect, Deontae Craig from Fort Wayne, Indiana has offers from most power 5 programs in the midwest including the Domers.
I can’t tell you who the biggest recruits ever from the Fort Wayne area are, but I can confidently say that Tyler Eifert and Jaylon smith would be among them. This is a town where the Irish have done pretty well, so why not see if that success can continue.
Josh Fryar – What would a Notre Dame recruiting class be without an Indiana bred offensive lineman? Josh Fryar, 6’5 295 LBS, fits that mold pretty well, and has offers to schools like Michigan State and Ohio State.
There is no offer from the Irish yet, but I suspect ND will take a closer look at this kid down the road. There is one position i don’t question ND at recruiting wise, and that’s O-line, but losing a veteran like Sam Mustipher might have the coaches looking a little closer at Centers. Especially ones close to home.