The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have made a big move by making an offer to 2014 4-star wideout Speedy Noil, out of New Orleans, and they have a good chance of quickly moving up his list and landing him over his homestate LSU Tigers.
Noil is only 5'10'', 175 pounds, but he does run a 4.45 40-yard dash, so there is a good reason for his nickname of Speedy. He has the ability to stretch a defense vertically, and he displays good hands, athleticism and awareness when the football is in the air.
He already has offers from other prestigious schools like the aforementioned Tigers, Alabama, Florida, Florida State and Ohio State—and that's just to name a few. Right now, 247Sports has LSU on top of his list.
Now that the Fighting Irish have offered, do they have a chance to beat those other schools, specifically LSU?
I believe they do.
Here's a quote from Noil via Will Biggers of 247Sports.com that explains what the talented wideout is looking for in an offense:
“I’m interested in playing in a spread offense that likes to throw the ball. I want to catch a lot of balls in college,” he said. “I don’t mind having a little bit of balance and running the ball, but I want to make sure I’m going to get thrown to and have the chance to make plays.”
Here's where LSU runs into a problem in their recruitment of Noil. This is also where the Irish will have an advantage.
LSU is many things, but the one thing they are not is a high-powered passing attack. The Tigers have been known for their dominant defenses and powerful running game as of late. Yes, they can throw the ball, but it's usually a bi-product of the running game, not the major focus.
Last season, the Tigers ran the ball 312 more times than they threw it. They ended up with 2,836 total rushing yards compared to just 2,135 passing yards.
In today's era of football, this is not the norm.
On the other-hand, Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish run an offense that's more prone to throwing the ball. In 2011 they had a pretty balanced attack that threw the ball 473 times for 3,284 yards and ran 433 times for 2,085 yards.
Overall, Notre Dame threw the ball 194 times more than LSU did in 2011. Even so far this season against opponents like North Texas and Washington, the Tigers are only averaging 193.5 passing yards per game.
Notre Dame should quickly rise up Noil's list due to their prestige and the strength of their 2013 class. The Fighting Irish are slowly rebuilding a nationally competitive program, and that plus their tradition and prestige should be attractive to elite prospects like Noil.
In the end, if it does come down to statistics for Noil, I expect Notre Dame to have the advantage over the heavy running power teams in the SEC, especially LSU.