Notre Dame Football Recruiting: Breaking Down Future of Fighting Irish Offense

Mike MoraitisAnalyst IJanuary 26, 2013

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 05:  Head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish speaks to media during Media Day ahead of the Discover BCS National Championship at Sun Life Stadium on January 5, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish had a disappointing finish to what was a sensational season, but despite that, the future is looking very bright on the offensive side of the ball for this program.

Per, the Irish have the No. 5 recruiting class in the nation, and that should help them maintain their elite status in the college game.

Let's take a look at some of the studs Notre Dame has recruited who will make the Irish and their offense a force to be reckoned with for years to come.


Malik Zaire, QB

Height: 6'1''

Weight: 185 lbs

Zaire is a great athlete who possesses the kind of speed to make plays with his feet, but he is mostly a pass-first quarterback. That same athleticism enables him to move around in the pocket and extend the play before he decides to run.

His arm strength isn't overly impressive, but Zaire has more than sufficient velocity on his throws to fit them in tight spaces. To combat a less-than-stellar arm, Zaire makes accurate throws, both in the pocket and on the run.

What's more impressive is Zaire's ability to make touch passes, and he will normally put the ball where only his receivers can catch it.


Mike Heuerman, TE

Height: 6'4''

Weight: 220 lbs

If there's anyone who can replace Tyler Eifert, Heuerman could be the guy.

Heuerman's height is ideal for the position, and at his young age, there is still room to grow. If he can continue to grow upward, Heuerman will be an ideal target in the red zone.

While he displays good hands as a receiver, Heuerman is already a step above the rest as far as blocking is concerned and will only get better as he fills out his frame.

Heuerman's speed isn't special by any means, but he will still be a tough cover for most linebackers in the college game. If he is to catch passes, they certainly won't be big plays down the field.


James Onwualu, ATH

Height: 6'1''

Weight: 205 lbs

Onwualu is listed as athlete for the moment because it isn't certain where he will play, but chances are it will be either running back or wide receiver.

He runs the ball with immense physicality as a running back, yet he has the speed to run around defenders in an instant. Onwualu does a great job of waiting for holes to open up, and his experience as a receiver will make him a dangerous threat to catch the ball out of the backfield.

As a receiver, Onwualu needs some work on his route-running skills, but he is fast enough to break away from cornerbacks and make big plays. He has good size and strength that helps him fight off defenders to make tough, contested catches.

Onwualu's versatility is the most intriguing thing about him, and he could be a major player for the Irish in multiple facets.