It's been a busy offseason at Notre Dame, including the hiring of new coach Brian Kelly, but the Irish still have a top-20 recruiting class coming in. For the most part, recruits are sold on the university and its tradition, not solely on a coach.
Commits: 17 | ESPNU 150: 2
Bringing in ESPNU 150 DT Louis Nix (Jacksonville, Fla./Raines) is a good sign because it's been a weaker area for the Irish. Nix lacks consistency, but he's massive with good quickness off the ball and can force a double team. In the back seven, keep your eye on hard-hitting DB Chris Badger (Provo, Utah/ Timpview), he will remind Irish fans of physical ND safeties of years past. On the offensive side of the ball, savvy wide receiver Tai-ler Jones (Gainesville, Ga./Gainesville) and sleeper quarterback Andrew Hendrix (Cincinnati/Moeller) should soften the blow of losing Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate to the draft.
Top prospect: Nix backed up his four-star film evaluation with a solid showing as an Under Armour All-American. When he fires off the ball with low pad level, his powerful 300-pound frame can be difficult to single block. At this stage, he's more of a space eater but he has the tools to develop into a disruptive interior lineman at the college level.
Don't be surprised if: If No. 16 RB Giovanni Bernard (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Saint Thomas Aquinas) does not sign with the Irish, despite still keeping them in the final mix.
Billy Tucker is a recruiting coordinator for Scouts Inc. and has close to a decade of coaching experience at the college and high school levels.