Brian Kelly and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a very good 2013 recruiting class so far—currently ranked No. 4 overall by Rivals.com—but who ever wants to be the fourth best at anything? The Irish should be aiming to get the No. 1 spot.
The Fighting Irish can lock down the No. 1 spot with a few key additions to the class, but who exactly is interested and could be a realistic possibility?
Here are three recruits Notre Dame must lock down to jump over LSU, Michigan and USC to get the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation:
Priest Willis, 5-star CB, Marcos De Niza (AZ):
Willis has to be the main target for Kelly and the Fighting Irish right now. Their need in the secondary is well-documented, and Willis is the caliber of player that can come in and make an impact right away as a freshman.
Bringing on another 5-star defensive player would also do wonders for moving Notre Dame up the recruiting rankings.
At 6'2'', 200 pounds, Willis has elite size coming out of high school. He's big enough to be physical in the run game and in press coverage, and he's tall and athletic enough to make big-time plays in coverage. He'll make it very hard for a receiver to get space over him. He can be a true lockdown corner for the Irish, so Kelly and his staff need to make him the priority.
Other schools in play for Willis are LSU, Nebraska, UCLA and Texas according to 247sports. They do list that he has a visit to Notre Dame coming up on October 12.
MacKensie Alexander, 4-star CB, Immokalee (FL):
Notre Dame is the No. 1 team on Alexander's interest list right now according to 247sports, so if they can keep it that way, the Irish will have a great shot at bringing in another talented corner while simultaneously boosting their recruiting ranking.
At 5'10, 175 pounds, he's more of the prototypical size for a high school corner, but where he's not average is in the speed department.
247sports has him clocked at a very fast 4.40 40-yard dash, so his speed really sets him apart.
If Kelly can get a commit from the shutdown corner in Willis and then bring in a speedy corner like Alexander, the position will be set for years to come, and the No. 1 recruiting ranking will be achievable.
Alquadin Muhammad, 4-star DE, Don Bosco Prep (NJ):
Alquadin would be the final piece of the puzzle for Kelly if he wants to snag the No. 1 recruiting ranking. At 6'4'', 230 pounds, Muhammad has good size for a defensive end coming out of high school, and he can definitely bulk up with the training Notre Dame would provide him.
For such a big kid, he runs a 4.65 40 according to 247sports, so he's got the speed to come off the edge and rush the passer, but he's big enough to play strong against the run.
247Sports has big programs like South Carolina and Michigan listed as top interests, along with Colorado, Rutgers and of course, Notre Dame. If Kelly can get him to commit to the Irish over specifically the Gamecocks and the Wolverines, it would be a big enough recruiting win to really make some ripples in the rankings.
If he can bring in all three of these guys, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish will be the No. 1 recruiting team in the nation for 2013.