The Notre Dame Fighting Irish aren't currently on 2014 4-star athlete Jalen Hurd's short list of schools, but now that head coach Brian Kelly and company have made an offer to the junior, that and a huge season by the Irish on the football field should definitely sky-rocket the Irish to the top of his list.
According to quotes obtained by Will Biggers of 247sports.com, Kelly reached out to Hurd and made an offer:
“[Notre Dame head] coach Brian Kelly emailed me and told me he wanted to offer me,” Hurd said. “He told me I was a great athlete and he sees me being a great part of their program.
“Truthfully, I haven’t watched them on TV a whole lot, but I know they have good tradition and a good history behind their school. I could see myself possibly taking a visit there.”
Hurd's top three includes Alabama, Ohio State and Vanderbilt, also according to Biggers' report.
Step one of the process is now complete for the Irish—they've reached out to Hurd and made an offer—but there's still a whole lot left to do if they want to reel his incredible talent into their program. Obviously the more interaction they can get with him the better off their chances will be, and a visit to South Bend certainly should help. But the easiest way to attract any talent is by winning.
Such a simple concept, but much easier said than done.
Notre Dame has been relying on its tradition for far too long now, and tradition alone isn't going to allow the Irish to compete with the likes of Bama, Ohio State, Michigan and USC when it comes to recruiting.
Believe you me, there's one thing that speaks louder to elite talent than any recruiting pitch, and that's winning. You can sell recruits on tradition all you want, but at the end of the day, the best of the best want to play for the best, and they want the opportunity to go out there on the gridiron and win big, meaningful games.
As of late, the Irish haven't been able to offer much of that to their recruits, but that can all change in 2012.
What is more appealing to prospects?
Notre Dame needs to have a big season this year. The Irish started off well, with a 50-10 route over Navy, but it's the games against Michigan State, Michigan, Stanford, Oklahoma and USC that are really going to matter.
If the Irish can go out and beat the top-notch opponents on their schedule in 2012, Hurd—and other elite prospects—will be forced to turn on their TVs to check out the on-field product Kelly is assembling.
So, what are the chances Notre Dame cracks Hurd's top three and has a realistic shot of eventually recruiting him? I'd say they are high if the Irish can go out there and put together a huge season.
Action speak louder than words, and winning is the most appealing action for elite talent.