Looking to build on the success of the 2011 season—a season that saw the Irish end their recent losing streak to Navy and go on two four-game winning streaks—Notre Dame is on the verge of taking that next step in reclaiming its spot amongst the college football elite.
With recruiting coming to a close, here are five recruits head coach Brian Kelly and his Fighting Irish signed that they needed in order to continue their resurgence.
After giving verbal commitments to Indiana and then LSU, the No. 1 ranked quarterback in the country has switched his commitment yet again—this time it is official—in favor of the Irish.
Kiel has all of the tools: He has the arm strength to make any pass all over the field, and he can also buy time with his feet.
At 6"4 and weighing 220 pounds, Kiel is a prototypical passer that—with the right coaching—could be a star for years to come in South Bend.
With the departure of senior Michael Floyd, the Irish could use a game-breaking wide receiver, and Hanahan, South Carolina native Chris Brown could be that player.
At 6"2 and 180 pounds, he will provide a steady presence on the outside.
Brown is graded as the 86th-best receiver in the country, and he will be able to come in and contribute immediately.
In college football, a team can never have enough wide receivers as an efficient passing game often takes the pressure off of a young, developing quarterback.
In college football, a great defense is often what separates contenders from pretenders. Just ask Alabama after their recent win in the BCS championship game.
At 6"4 and 223 pounds, Romeo Okwara could be a great fit in the Irish defense, as he has proven that he can stop the run and shed blockers at the line of scrimmage.
Okward could help provide a pass rush that hasn't been seen since Justin Tuck roamed around South Bend.
Elijah Shumate is a safety prospect that the Irish added to the fold.
The East Orange native is tabbed for his speed and ball skills, as he has the intelligence to play the safety position.
Standing at 6'0", he may be undersized against some of the bigger wide receivers in the country, but his instincts and pure skill should make up for any size mismatches.
Another defensive back, Turner could come in and contribute right away.
The Cathedral product is also a bit undersized, but he makes up for the lack of size with uncanny ball skills and can make a play from anywhere on the field.