Notre Dame Football: What You Need to Know About Irish's 2013 Recruiting
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly and his staff have proved, once and for all, that the label of "small time" no longer applies to them in the wild world of college football recruiting.
Their new-found label of "big time" was validated through a top 10 2012 class, as well as what is currently a top five 2013 class.
The Irish staff has used the 2013 class to show the college football world that they're here to stay, and last year's class was no fluke or flash in the pan.
For a more detailed look at the goings on of Notre Dame football recruiting, take a look through the slideshow.
Current Offensive Commits
At the time of this publication, Notre Dame has accrued nine commits on the offensive side of the ball, with a heavy dose of offensive linemen.
Because the offensive line has been thoroughly addressed, expect Notre Dame to add up to two or three more receivers before it's all said and done.
Following is a list of all nine offensive commits, with links to each player's Rivals.com profile.
Hunter Bivin, OL (6'7", 288)
Steve Elmer, OL (6'6", 305)
Mike Heuerman, TE (6'4", 220)
Mike McGlinchey, OL (6'9", 280)
Colin McGovern, OL (6'5", 284)
John Montelus, OL (6'5", 295)
James Onwualu, ATH (6'1", 205)
Corey Robinson, WR (6'4", 195)
Malik Zaire, QB (6'0", 196)
Current Defensive Commits
Entering the 2013 recruiting cycle, linebacker was an area of significant need for Notre Dame. That need was met with urgency and persistence, as the Irish have reeled in four linebacker commits.
The secondary remains a position of need despite the Irish having received commitments from two defensive backs in the class.
Expect for Notre Dame to bring in one to two more defensive linemen, as well as two to three more cornerbacks.
Following is a list of the current defensive commits.
Alex Anzalone, LB (6'3", 229)
Devin Butler, CB (6'1", 179)
Michael Deeb, LB (6'2", 237)
Rashad Kinlaw, CB (6'2", 184)
Danny Mattingly, LB (6'5", 225)
Jacob Matuska, DE (6'5", 240)
Isaac Rochell, DE (6'5", 260)
Jaylon Smith, LB (6'3", 212)
Position of Need: Cornerback
To be concise, Notre Dame got the short end of the stick at cornerback during the 2012 recruiting cycle.
For starters, Irish commit Ronald Darby flipped his commitment to Florida State following Notre Dame's loss to the Seminoles in the Champs Sports Bowl, and Tee Shepard returned home to Fresno in March after having enrolled for the spring semester.
That left Notre Dame with only five scholarship cornerbacks on the 2012 roster.
Brian Kelly and Co. have begun to address the issue with the commitments of cornerbacks Devin Butler and Rashad Kinlaw, but more work is left to be done.
Following is a list of cornerbacks the Irish have targeted.
Mackensie Alexander (5'11", 175)
Vernon Hargreaves III (5'11", 185)
Johnny Johnson (5'10", 175)
Cole Luke (6'0", 165)
Priest Willis (6'2", 185)
List of Official Visitors
As the countdown to the college football season heats up, the pressure is on uncommitted recruits to decide on which schools they will be taking official visits to.
Remain attentive to announcements of official visits through fall camp and the first few weeks of the season.
One Irish commit and three targets have set dates for their official visits to South Bend, and the list follows.
Priest Willis, CB: 9/21/12 - 9/23/12 (Notre Dame vs. Michigan)
Isaac Rochell, DE: 9/21/12 - 9/23/12
Juwaan Williams, ATH: 9/21/12 - 9/23/12
L.J. Moore, S: 9/21/12 - 9/23/12
Brian Kelly learned a valuable lesson after the 2012 recruiting class became official on National Signing Day in February. That lesson was having a relentless approach on the recruiting trail.
That type of relentlessness has shown itself in the 2013 class, as the Irish have taken care of the offensive line and linebackers. Brian Kelly also reeled in a quality quarterback in Kettering, OH native Malik Zaire.
The 2013 class is far from complete, though.
It's imperative that the Irish snag at least two more cornerbacks to help offset the current depth issue at the position. That feat is surely within reach, as Vernon Hargreaves III recently narrowed his list of schools to five, with Notre Dame making the cut.
Mackensie Alexander, another top-100 cornerback, continues to be a red hot name in Notre Dame recruiting chatter, especially after the Immokalee, Fla., native spent five days on campus earlier this summer during an unofficial visit.
Should those two choose Notre Dame, they would be the icing on the cake for the Irish's 2013 class.