With Notre Dame now in the national championship, recruits tend to line up outside South Bend a little faster than usual this time of year. The latest big splash for head coach Brian Kelly comes from running back Greg Bryant, who was considering many SEC schools and was even committed to Oklahoma at one point.
Instead, the results in the classroom are the reason Bryant picked the Irish, according to Jake Brown of Irish Illustrated. (Paid link)
"One hundred percent (graduation rate) for minority athletes, 97 percent for team graduation," father Greg Bryant Sr. said of the reasons behind his son's commitment. "I like those odds. Everyone else 50 percent or below. It's bigger than the game of football."
Mike Farrell of Rivals calls the 5-star recruit a "Theo Riddick" type back, but somebody who has much more upside.
Greg Bryant commitment to #NotreDame a home run for the Irish. Great player, great character. Theo Riddick but much more upside— Mike Farrell (@rivalsmike) December 9, 2012
But with this big pickup, can the Irish eventually end up with the top recruiting class for 2013?
According to Rivals, Notre Dame is only slightly behind USC for the No. 1 spot, while Scout has given Michigan the small edge over that team out in South Bend. Regardless of which class you like more, you have to believe that Notre Dame will eventually jump both if it continues to recruit the way it is at the moment. Bryant now joins a recruiting class that includes 22 prospects, all of which are at least 3-star players.
He brings an elite skill set to a team that hasn't had a dominant running back for quite some time. He is somebody who can carry the load and wear down a defense over time. With his bulky 5'10", 210-pound frame, Bryant has no problem running between the tackles and picking up those tough yards with an abusing style of running.
The news gets even better for Notre Dame, as this isn't the only recruit that can put the Irish at the top of the rankings. Another top running back in Tarean Folston has already checked out the Notre Dame campus and is keeping the program in mind as he continues the recruiting process.
One of the top safeties in the country in Max Redfield liked his trip to Notre Dame so much that he decided to cancel his trip to Oregon. It now looks like the Irish are the team to beat and could be adding another top recruit to the list very soon.
Although defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes is currently committed to USC, the 5-star recruit has decided he will check out Notre Dame instead of LSU. This gives the Irish a slight chance to snag an elite defensive player to add to an already-talented defensive front.
There are many top recruits that are leaning towards the Irish, and the recent commitment of Bryant is one step closer towards finishing this class at the top.
Notre Dame obviously still has its work cut out, and it will take more elite signings to lock up the No. 1 spot, but this is a program that has taken one giant step closer to accomplishing that task.