Notre Dame Football Recruiting: Meet the Irish's 2015 Class

Mike Monaco@@MikeMonaco_Contributor IFebruary 4, 2015

Brian Kelly
Brian KellyJoe Raymond/Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — After all the recruiting mail, cross-country trips and official visits, Notre Dame football officially unveiled its recruiting class of 2015 Wednesday on national signing day.

Irish head coach Brian Kelly announced the 24-member class during an afternoon press conference on campus. Heading into the week, Notre Dame’s class already stood strong at 22 members.

Here’s Notre Dame’s class of 2015:

Notre Dame's Class of 2015
Brandon WimbushQB
Aliz'e JonesTE
Tristen HogeOL
Dexter WilliamsRB
Shaun CrawfordCB
Josh BarajasLB
Jerry TilleryDL
Equanimeous St. BrownWR
Asmar BilalLB
Miles BoykinWR
C.J. SandersWR
Josh AdamsRB
Tevon ConeyLB
Elijah TaylorDL
Bo WallaceDL
Mykelti WilliamsS
Trevor RuhlandOL
Jalen GuytonWR
Brandon TiassumDL
Micah Dew-TreadwayDL
Ashton WhiteCB
Nick ColemanCB
Nicco FertittaS
Justin YoonK,

Two More Expected Additions

As we’ve mentioned in recent weeks, the Irish appeared to be in terrific shape to sign running back Dexter Williams and wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown. There were few surprises in that regard Wednesday, as both Williams and St. Brown made it official with the Irish.

A native of Winter Garden, Florida, Williams checks in as the No. 11 running back and No. 94 overall player in the country. The Irish scoured far and wide for a second back to pair with longtime commitment Josh Adams. Notre Dame only returns two scholarship running backs next season: rising juniors Greg Bryant and Tarean Folston.

“We were looking to get a second back in this class, and we felt like Dexter gave us that breakaway back that we wanted,” Kelly said. “His second-level speed, his quickness into the hole and then his acceleration were the things that separated him from the other backs that we recruited.”

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St. Brown, meanwhile, is the No. 19 wide receiver in the country and No. 160 overall. The Irish lured the Anaheim, California, product out to the Midwest.

“He’s just a great kid,” Kelly said. “He’s got great range, 6'5”, another rangy wide receiver who can run. He gets in and out of his breaks. Another matchup guy that I think you’re gonna have problems with now.”

Success With Flipping Commits

Five of Notre Dame’s top signees were once verbally committed to other programs across the nation. Quarterback Brandon Wimbush flipped from Penn State to the Irish, while tight end Aliz'e Jones (UCLA), linebacker Josh Barajas (Penn State), Dexter Williams (Miami) and cornerback Shaun Crawford (Michigan) were not all-Irish right out of the gates.

“When you talk about flipping, we changed our needs in a sense,” Kelly said. “And then I think we reallocated into a particular position. I think the strength of the class was that they were really close early on and we had a number of guys that were committed through the summer months and into the fall season.”

Filling Needs

When asked about filling particular needs with Notre Dame’s class of 2015, Kelly pointed to the incoming Irish cornerbacks—Crawford, Ashton White and Nick Coleman—and kicker Justin Yoon, who Kelly said will start right away.

“We had to have those,” Kelly said.

Kelly described the cornerbacks as having the capability to play on the inside or outside.

“That gives us the flexibility in our sub package, absolutely crucial,” Kelly said. “That addresses an absolute must-need.” 

In regard to Yoon, Kelly said the Irish coaching staff thinks the Milton (Massachusetts) Academy product is “the best kicker in the country.”

“We got a chance to evaluate all the kickers that are out there,” Kelly said. “The things that stood out are his strength and accuracy.”

Unless otherwise noted, all recruiting stats and information courtesy of 247Sports and all quotes obtained firsthand. Star ratings reflect 247Sports composite rankings.

Mike Monaco is a lead Notre Dame writer for Bleacher Report. Follow @MikeMonaco_ on Twitter.