Re-Evaluating Notre Dame's 2012 Recruiting Class

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Re-Evaluating Notre Dame's 2012 Recruiting Class

Notre Dame's 2012 recruiting class is as star-crossed as the season that it followed. Like the infamous 8-5 season that saw the Irish lose in dramatic (and painful) ways to USF, Michigan, USC and Florida State, the Irish's recruiting efforts also went wayward, both down the stretch to signing day and in the years that followed. 

A look back at the 2012 class tells two very different stories. First, the ones who didn't pan out. Headliners Gunner Kiel, Davonte Neal and Tee Shepard, all essentially contributed nothing to the program. A transfer from wide receiver Justin Ferguson gutted the skill players. (The recent arrest and indefinite suspension of Will Mahone adds another potential washout.) 

But to paint the class as a failure would be too simple. Despite the disappointments, Brian Kelly and his staff also found plenty of talent. KeiVarae Russell has started at cornerback from the moment he stepped on campus. Sheldon Day has the chance to be a standout along the defensive line.

Jarron Jones will start next to Day at defensive tackle. Romeo Okwara will line up next to them as a starter at defensive end. Ronnie Stanley will likely be a four-year starter at tackle for the Irish. There is plenty expected from Chris Brown and converted safety C.J. Prosise. 

Let's walk through Brian Kelly's 2012 recruiting class and take a look at how things have shaken out. 


*All recruiting rankings are based on's Composite rankings. 


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