Brian Kelly fixing Notre Dame recruiting 

January, 18, 2011

If you're a fan of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, you have to be feeling pretty good. After all, the Irish finished the season strong by beating their archrival, the USC Trojans, and hammering the Miami Hurricanes in the Hyundai Sun Bowl.

Better still, recruiting sure seems like it's going strong. And yes, I know the Irish always seem to do well in recruiting. One reason why is any time the Irish pursue a prospect, his stock tends to go up in the recruiting analysts' eyes. And yes, I also know that Charlie Weis signed a bunch of supposed top-10 recruiting classes that didn't really pan out.

The difference here, say many of my ND buddies as they recoil at the Weis connection, is these touted recruits are on the defensive line as opposed to being on the offensive side of the ball. To me, the biggest difference really is that they'll be going to a program run by Brian Kelly, not Weis, and Kelly is much better suited to developing prospects than was the former NFL assistant (and newly hired offensive coordinator of the Florida Gators).

The big coup for the Irish this weekend was getting back defensive end recruit Aaron Lynch, who had decommitted and then recommitted. He is the nation's No. 7 DE prospect and 51st-ranked prospect overall, and he'll be playing alongside another top-50 prospect in Ishaq Williams (the nation's 6th-ranked DE). A big reason why the Fighting Irish were able to land Lynch had to do with the efforts of Tony Alford, one of the country's better recruiters. Alford, if you recall, is the same guy who landed blue-chip DT Louis Nix during a time when the Irish didn't even have a head coach.