ND Football: Early National Signing Day

One of the biggest days for a college football team is the early National Signing Day. Nowadays, the signing process starts earlier than it did in the past. Prior to 2017, National Signing Day occurred on the first Wednesday of February. Now the process has changed and the earlier National Signing Day now occurs in late December. As I say,  “You can think of National Signing Day as the day players draft the university they want to play for. It’s a moment for players to decide how well the recruiting process went and what is going to make them successful after college.”

This year, the National Signing Day was December 19th. Notre Dame Football has received 23 signed letters of intent. My signing watch was Jay Bramblatt. Jay was recruited from the state of Alabama, and he is actually from Tuscaloosa. That’s a great grab for Notre Dame Football. 

First Man In: Andrew Kristofic

One of the competitions amongst the offensive and defensive signees is, who will be the first one in? This year OL Andrew Kristofic was the first one in the hopper. He beat out DL Jack Kiser by one minute minute and future OL Zeke Correll by two minutes. It is great to see the drive and commitment these young men have to play for the University of Notre Dame.  

Signees 

Notre Dame has received signed letter of intent from 23 players. There are four Offensive Linemen, four Line Backers, three Wide Receivers, four Defensive Backs, one Punter, four Defensive Linemen, one Kicker, one Running Back and one Quarterback.  The full list of signees can be found here.

Recruiting

The process of being recruited is not easy.  Along with signing today, decisions are made whether or not to enter the college ranks early. Nine or ten signees plan on entering early into the school. It’s a major synching of the admissions office all the way to the Strength and Conditioning department. 

The recruiting process does not stop on early National Signing Day. Actually, the process keeps on going. Yesterday was no different from any other day. future recruits are still talking on social media about receiving recruitng mail from the university.

Questions On Recruiting

Media Question: There was a report about Hawaiian players or I guess players in general, and I think Hawaii had the 7th best per capita talent or power five talent of any other state,7th best. I want to just see your thoughts on how Brian Polian has done there, how important it was to get him back, and work in there and get a guy like Marist Liufau?

Coach Kelly Response: “Well, certainly, you know, Brian’s got a great connection out there and — and it would make no sense for him to be on our staff for him not to continue to cultivate those relationships that he’s built over, you know, his career.”

“So you know, we want to continue to do that, and Marist is — again, here is another young man that just fits our university, and we love his upside. He’s a guy that’s going to develop. He’s not ready to come in and start, but he is a guy that is going to develop into a great player here. Can’t wait for him to begin his time here.”

“So yeah, utilizing Brian’s past relationships there, just as a smart allocation of your resources, and then knowing full well that you’re going — we’ve had really good success with everybody that has come from the islands here and been really good players for us. So why wouldn’t we continue to move in that direction.”

“Now, if you could stay out there for four or five days, I would take over Hawaii, but you’ve got to go on that long trip and do that evaluation and a long way back. It’s a long trip but Brian does a good job with it”

Media Question: You talked Coach Quinn as a recruiter and again, focusing on the trenches on both sides of the ball, could you speak to Coach Elston and the job he does as a recruiter and what makes him a good recruiter?

Coach Kelly Response:
“Well, first of all, a great deal of experience recruiting over 20-plus years in the business. You know, again, what is recruiting? The recruiting part of it is communication and how do you best communicate with 18, 19-year-olds. So you’ve got to find out how they are communicating and you know, how to do that.”

“So that constant communication, that line of communication has to be one that you’re building with them. And then they have got to see you face-to-face as genuine and real. They have got to be able to trust you because there has to be a little bit of trust in this process, too. It can’t be you’re selling used cars, because those kids, they get that. There’s a chance that some guys get away with it but I think our guys do a great job of when they are with those kids one-on-one, they build a strong relationship. Mike does a really good job with that.”

Press Conference

Shake Down The Thunder Sports Question: What was the team’s reaction this morning when you landed Jay Bramblett out of Tuscaloosa? That’s a pretty big grab. He could have gone there but he chose the University of Notre Dame.

Coach Kelly Response: “Pretty exciting. Pretty accomplished football player. We were obviously, you know, not in the recruiting process for him for a long time. But when we did get in it, you know, we were pretty excited. We just think he’s got all the traits necessary to be, you know, the right kind of player for us, somebody that’s going to be rough and tumble, physical, moves well, very good student. Plays great football. I mean, comes from real good conference.”

“We’re going to get a guys that a seasoned college football player, high school player, coming into college, so we’re pretty excited about that get.”

Media Question: From 1 to 21, do you feel like this is probably one of your best classes in terms of guys that fit Notre Dame well?

Coach Kelly Response: “I think that what we’ve done really well is our support staff, our recruiting, our evaluation, is really — really working well together. So you know, Bill Reiss is doing a great job we valuations and Aaron Carney is doing a great job on the day-to-day operations, and the evaluations there. Dave Peloquin is doing an incredible job of making sure the fit — I think all those pieces of working really well together; that is giving us at the end result, both as a student and an athlete.”

“My long answer to that is I have not seen all our operation work as efficiently in this process as it has with these 21.”

Signing Day Wrap Up

At the end of the day, there was no drama for the Notre Dame Football program. All 21 verbal commits put pen to paper. Coach Kelly is excited to get nine or ten of the commits into school in January. This way they can begin the process of strength and conditioning as well as get classes started. Yesterday was a great day for ND Football. It was even better for the 23 young men who be attending classes and playing football for the University of Notre Dame.

Cheers and Go Irish!☘🏈⚡

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