Notre Dame is restocking the shelves of the offense with a group of talented and dynamic playmakers at the skill positions in 2013, but the real prize of this year’s offensive class is in the trenches where Notre Dame is adding five highly touted offensive linemen. If there is anything the 2013 BCS Championship game taught us, it’s that championships are won in the trenches and right now Alabama is the gold standard in that department.
Well, Notre Dame took a big step in closing the gap on the offensive side of the ball with the class of 2013. Baring any last minute defections like we saw last year when Deontay Greenberry decommitted at the 11th hour, here are the 14 offensive recruits Notre Dame is expected to sign later today.
Before jumping into the horses the Irish got to fill the trenches though, we are going to start off our recruit by recruit run down with the headliner on the offensive side of the ball – 5-star running back Greg Bryant.
Greg Bryant – RB – 5-star (Delray Beach, Florida)
- Rivals – 5-star, #3 RB, #19 overall
- ESPN – 4-star, #2 RB,. #22 overall
- 24/7 – 4-star, #10 RB, #128 overall
Competition: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, USC
Analysis: Braynt is the highest rated running back to enroll at Notre Dame in a long time as a consensus top 10 RB. James Aldridge comes to mind in terms of ranking, but his high school senior year injury ended up affecting his final ratings. Bryant is a potential work-horse back for the Notre Dame offense. An all-around talent who can run it inside between the tackles or bounce it outside and break a long run when it’s there as well. With limited experienced depth at running back for Notre Dame next season, Bryant has the chance to see the field very early. He may not start from day one, but if Georga Atkinson, Cam McDaniel, Amir Carlisle, or Will Mahone fail to establish themselves as the clear #1 back, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if Bryant stepped in and assumed that role by the end of his freshman season.
Notre Dame went head to head with the nation’s elite programs to secure Bryant’s commitment including a host of SEC schools that stayed on Bryant until the very end of the recruiting process. Bryant actually originally committed to Oklahoma back in April of 2012 before decommitting and setting his sights on Notre Dame in December.
Bryant forms a potentially dynamic duo with classmate Tarean Folston who can be the lightning to Bryant’s Thunder for the next four seasons in South Bend. Notre Dame rotated in multiple backs the last few years and this pair will give Brian Kelly and Chuck Martin the ability to do so for years to come.
It’s hard not to get excited over a running back with Bryant’s all-around talents – especially since many of the highly rated backs that have come to Notre Dame over the last several years have come while recovering from injuries during their senior years like Aldridge and more recently Armando Allen.