Welcome to the 2013 State(s) of Recruiting, a study on where all of Notre Dame's scholarship football players come from and what staes are the most giving in terms of numbers for the Fighting Irish. This is the 7th annual version of this study so I will save you from the 4-7 paragraphs about the importance of national recruiting, the reasons why Notre Dame must recruit nationally, the importance of relationship… blah, blah, blah.
You already know all of this and you don't need me rehashing it all. You're welcome. I will say this very quickly; in the 7 years I have been doing this, the map has changed very little from what you see right now. There have been changes of course (Pennsylvania for one) but it has a similar theme each year.
Now we can continue- BREAK OUT THAT MAP ED MCMAHON…
Ribbed Color Coded for your pleasure:
5th Year Seniors= BLUE
View The State of Recruiting 2013 in a larger map
Per tradition, here are the top 8 states:
- 10 Players
- Average Star Rating: 3.5
- Most Notable: Jarrett Grace (4*), Dan Fox (3*), Alex Welch (4*)
- Biggest Loss: Dan McCarthy
- Newcomers: Malik Zaire (4*), Jacob Matuska (3*)
- 2012 Ranking: #2 (10 / 3.5 A.S.R.)
Ohio shoots up to number one from the number two spot with no change in any of its numbers. Dan McCarthy is gone after 5 years and Brad Carrico is no longer on the team due to a medical hardship. Brian Kelly filled their spot with another 4 star in Malik Zaire and another 3 star with Jacob Matuska. Ohio has always been one of the top talent providing states for the Irish and even with Urban Meyer taking up residence in Columbus and claiming that he wants to "put a fence around Ohio," history tells us that Notre Dame will still do well enough in the Buckeye state- and especially in Cincinnati, that Ohio should stay high in these rankings for a long time.
- 9 Players
- Average Star Ranking: 3.44
- Most Notable: Louis Nix (4*), Lo Wood (3*), Bruce Heggie (2*)
- Biggest Loss: Aaron Lynch (4*), Zeke Motta (4*)
- Newcomers: Mike Heuerman (4*), Greg Bryant (5*), Tarean Folston (4*)
- 2012 Ranking: #3 (10 / 3.1 A.S.R.)
Florida had been riding along as the King of the Mountain for the Irish for a long time until 2011, when Florida was finally overcome by Ohio and California in terms of numbers. Still though, Florida continues to be one of the best- but curiously it has been very quiet for a few years up until now. The Aaron Lynch saga ended up stripping the state down to just one "star" from the state on the roster with Louis Nix. That changed in a big way this year with the commitments of Bryant, Folston, and Heuerman- a five star and a couple of 4 stars. As you can see from Florida's A.S.R. the past few years, the numbers are there but the elite talent that the state is so rich with is not. Of the 9 players on this roster, Only Louis Nix is a returning starter. If 2013's trend continues for the Irish, it won't be long before Florida not only takes back the #1 spot in this ranking, but it could see much more impact players and starters on the team. This is a good thing.
- 8 Players
- Average Star Ranking: 3.75
- Most Notable: Zach Martin (4*), Sheldon Day (4*), Gunner Kiel (5*)
- Biggest Loss: Tyler Eifert (3*), Braxston Cave (4*)
- Newcomers: Jaylon Smith (5*)
- 2012 Ranking: #1 (10 / 3.5 A.S.R.)
While I suppose after 7 years of doing this and after seeing Indiana ranked #1 last year, I shouldn't be shocked at how important this state is to the Notre Dame roster- but I am. Even if it wasn't the numbers that were surprising, it is that Notre Dame has continued to pull out some of the best talent in the state that, oh by the way… Rivals had Indiana ranked as the 8th best state for high school football. Indiana has a strong A.S.R. and more importantly, they have had a good number of starters, elite players, and impact players from the state. Indiana lost 3 and gained only 1 player, but that 1 player was 5 star super stud Jaylon Smith. Notre Dame is doing a fine job in its home state (multiple 5 stars should be proof enough) and that shouldn't change anytime soon. Quality with quantity… in Indiana… I am still in disbelief.
- 7 Players
- Average Star Rating: 4.0
- Most Notable: George Atkinson III (4*), Troy Niklas (4*)
- Biggest Loss: Cierre Wood (4*), Tee Shepard (4*)
- Newcomers: Max Redfield (5*), Eddie Vanderdoes (5*)
- 2012 Ranking: #4 (8 / 3.75 A.S.R.)
California has been somewhat of an enigma for the Irish over the past few years. Going into the 2012 season, only Cierre Wood was a returning major contributor from California on the roster. Basically, California has been producing the same type of problems and issues as Florida. In fact, Of the 18 players combined from the two states in the 2012 rankings, only 4 combined players were major contributors on offense and defense. The good news is that just as Florida looks to be trending upward in quantity and quality impact players, so too is California. This past class may have only added two players, but both were 5 stars and both were at positions that could see an immediate impact. Not too bad for a state that was looking bleaker this year (in terms of adding to the ND roster) than it had last year when they added Tee Shepard (who transferred quickly) and injured transfer RB Amir Carlilse. The 4.0 A.S.R. is amazingly awesome, but it will be curios to see if ND can keep it up in a state that they devote a ton of time and resources to.
#5 North Carolina
- 6 Players
- Average Star Ranking: 3.5
- Most Notable: Prince Shembo (4*), Mathias Farley (3*)
- Biggest Loss: NONE
- Newcomers: NONE
- 2012 Ranking: #5 (6 / 3.5 A.S.R.)
A year after I sing the praises of the Carolina recruiting efforts, Notre Dame strikes out. Still, the Irish have done well enough in the past few years, that North Carolina remains in the fifth spot. As I've mentioned before, I would love to combine both North Carolina and South Carolina here. The size of which is still about a quarter of California and would give the "State of Carolina" 8 players and a third place ranking. Oddly enough, Notre Dame also didn't get any recruits from South Carolina in this past class. Judging by the 2014 offers and the interest level from some of those offered in Notre Dame, I don't expect the same next year.
- 6 Players
- Average Star Ranking: 3.33
- Most Notable: Cam McDaniel (3*), Nicky Barrati (3*)
- Biggest Loss: Kapron Lewis-Moore (4*)
- Newcomers: Durham Smythe (3*), Torii Huter Jr. (4*), Corey Robinson (4*)
- 2012 Ranking: #8 (5 / 3.0 A.S.R.)
One of the more interesting state storylines might be that of Texas. For years I have scratched my head as to why Notre Dame hadn't done a better job in the Lone Star state, but we have seen a slow, yet steady increase in numbers. This past recruiting cycle was one of the more successful for the Irish in Texas in quite some time. For a moment, there was a very good chance that it would have been even better. With all of the great talent in the state of Texas, it is very encouraging to see the players there, giving Notre Dame a more honest look than in the past. The staff is committed to recruiting Texas as hard as possible and after looking at the offer list for the 2014 class, one can definitely see that they mean business. Just know this… Notre Dame's last Heisman winner was from Texas just as the last 2 Heisman winners were from Texas.
- 6 Players
- Average Star Ranking: 3.33
- Most Notable: Tommy Rees (3*), Chris Watt (4*), Christian Lombard (4*)
- Biggest Loss: NONE
- Newcomers: Colin McGovern (3*)
- 2012 Ranking: #7 (5 / 3.4 A.S.R.)
When you think about Notre Dame recruiting the state of Illinois, really you're thinking about Notre Dame recruiting the State of Chicago. While there isn't one of the six players that is actually from "Chicago," a quick glance at the map shows that all 6 are from the surrounding area. This area runs hot and cold for the Irish, and lets face it… the talent pool is actually shrinking. Sure, there was 5 star running back Ty Isaac from Joliet Catholic ( considered as a talent providing birthright by some fans) but Ty was never going to come to Notre Dame and had his heart set on USC no matter what. Still, the talent that the Irish do pull out of the Land of Lincoln has been very productive and we should see 4 starters from Illinois on the roster next year (that includes Daly at long snapper).
#8 New Jersey
- 4 Players
- Average Star Ranking: 3.25
- Most Notable: Bennett Jackson (3*), Calabrese (3*)
- Biggest Loss: Theo Riddick (4*)
- Newcomers: Rashad Kinlaw (3*)
- 2012 Ranking: #6 (5 / 3.6 A.S.R.)
New Jersey is hanging on by a thread in these rankings. In fact, if Slaughter would have been granted a 6th year of eligibility, we would be eating peaches and not blueberries. Another fact of importance is the significant lack of offers for the 2014 class as of right now with only 2 by my count. New Jersey has quietly been one of the better sources of talent for a lot of programs throughout the country, but there seems to be a return to the type of numbers we saw pre-Weis as Charlie tended to over recruit New Jersey just a wee bit. Must be a Bon Jovi thing.
And that just about covers it. Here are a few interesting stats that I included last year and are now updated for 2013:
Since I started doing this 7 years ago, 6 states have been in the elite 8 every year. If there are any predictions to be foretold is that those 6 may be down to 5 next year. We could see New Jersey fall off and the rise of Pennsylvania back into the elite 8. Also, I would keep a close eye on Texas as they may make a nice jump. With the Irish looking at a smaller class in 2014 (about 18), the rest of the changes could be very subtle.
Here is a chart that shows all of the states that have been in the Elite 8 over the past 7 years and the number of players they provided:
|Year / State||FL||CA||OH||PA||TX||MN||TN||IN||IL||GA||NC||NJ|
More Stats That You Will Need
Notre Dame's scholarship roster includes players from 26 states (including Washington DC).
There are 10 states with only one player on the roster. These 10 solo states have a combined A.S.R. of 3.6.
The Irish have 8 players from their home state.
The Irish have 20 players from border states.
The Irish have 5 players from states that border their border states.
You can call this, I suppose, Notre Dame's "homebase." This accounts for 33 players out of the 85 man scholarship roster or roughly 39%.