Notre Dame Football Recruiting: The Good and Bad from National Signing Day

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Notre Dame Football Recruiting: The Good and Bad from National Signing Day
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Gone, at least for now, is Notre Dame football's annual lock on a top-10 ranking.

One can point to unsuccessful hires and can create all sorts of excuses (some questionable, some reasonable) for why the Fighting Irish no longer are among the nation's elite each and every year.

But the facts about Notre Dame are the same as they are everywhere.

If you don't have the talent, you won't win the games. And lately, there have been no Joe Montanas, Rocket Ismails, Jerome Bettises or Tim Browns playing football on Saturdays in the fall under the shadow of Touchdown Jesus.

The truth is, of the 28 former Golden Domers on current NFL rosters, only New York Giants defensive lineman Justin Tuck would be considered a star.

It isn't all gloom and doom for Brian Kelly and Co., however. Yes, in great part because of stricter academic requirements, Notre Dame often isn't in it for the elite prospects.

But the Fighting Irish also aren't exactly signing athletes who would be nothing more than preferred walk-ons at Alabama, Louisiana State, Florida, Michigan and Ohio State. No, they get their share of big names.

Here is a look at the good and the bad that came out of 2012's national signing day for Notre Dame.

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