The last thing a 43 year-old man with a wife, a mortgage, and two kids needs or wants is to become a recruiting dork. I don't want to become that guy who watches grainy YouTube game video of high school juniors, pretending that he can form an intelligent opinion of whether a particular junior would be a good fit for the Notre Dame football team two years down the road. That way lies madness. I feel about as qualified to editorialize on the success of Charlie Weis' recruiting efforts as I did to write preview articles on Spring practice.
Nevertheless, I do keep a contstant watch out for any news which might be a signal of how well things are going out there on the recruiting trail. One such indicator which recently came to my attention was Scout.com's Top 100 Recruits list for the Fall class of 2008. I commend it to your review, and I'm sure others will have more in-depth analysis for the truly sick. But some quick numbers crunching at the macro level reveals a few tidbits worth mentioning.
- Signing day for high school students who probably finished their junior year of high school last week is still eight months and a full senior season of football away, yet Charlie Weis & Co. have already secured public verbal commitments from five players in Scout's Top 100.
- Those five players are ranked at #40, #50, #65, #74, and #88 on the Top 100 and include one 5-star and four 4-star players (according to Scout.com).
- In addition to the five players already verbally committed to the Irish, seventeen other players in the Top 100 list Notre Dame among their "Schools of Interest."
- Thus, fully 22% of the players in the Scout.com Top 100 are either committed to Notre Dame or have an interest in Notre Dame.
- The seventeen players showing interest are ranked 5, 8, 13, 19, 24, 27, 28, 30, 33, 34, 39, 42, 55, 62, 68, 70, and 75. Eleven of these players are ranked at 5-stars, while the remaining six are 4-star players.
- All eleven of the 5-star players showing interest are ranked higher than the highest ranked player already committed to Notre Dame (TE Kyle Rudolph at #40).
Regardless of how it all turns out, signposts like the Top 100 allow me to sleep a little better at night, knowing that our current coaching staff is working extremely hard to bring to Notre Dame the talent we need to return to the upper echelon of college football programs. Instead of worrying about recruiting, now I can worry about whether or not recruiting success will actually translate to wins on Saturday.