It's been an up-and-down year for Notre Dame's recruiting.
The Irish started off white-hot, securing big-time commitments from three touted offensive lineman (Conor Hanratty, Matt Hegarty andTony Springmann), a five-star tight end (Ben Koyack) and a four-star linebacker (Jarrett Grace) after their spring game.
May went by without a verbal, and June started rough when the Irish took second for touted QB Bubba Starling, who verballed to Nebraska instead.
Then ND hit their stride again, grabbing DE Clay Burton, four-star DB Eilar Hardy and fringe four-star LB Ben Councell in the space of ten days.
They recently missed out on QB Justin Worley to Tennessee (he was bound for UT for some time).
But I could see the Irish, after lagging a little, post a solid August. Kelly did well in bringing recruits to practice and showing off his system this spring, and he could do it again for fall camp.
With some big-time games at home against Purdue, Michigan, Stanford and Pitt, plus the intriguing Army game at Yankee Stadium, Kelly will have a great opportunity to load up on visiting recruits for each.
As ever, success is the greatest recruiting tool, but Kelly will have a grace period with recruits and a chance to sell them on the reloading effort.
Charlie Weis never had trouble selling the ND brand even in the midst of abject failure. Could Kelly, destined as he is to succeed, match Weis's legendary success in his first year? If ND can recapture the momentum of the spring game, I'd give them an outside shot.