The 2014 State(s) of Recruiting

Welcome to the 2013 State(s) of Recruiting, a study on where all of Notre Dame's scholarship football players come from and what states are the most giving in terms of numbers for the Fighting Irish. This is the 8th 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 8 years I have been doing this, the map has changed very little from what you see right now- with some exceptions for Texas now being seen. As good as the Louisiana Purchase was for the United States, it offers very little for Notre Dame Football.

Now we can continue- BREAK OUT THAT MAP ED MCMAHON…

Ribbed Color Coded for your pleasure:

5th Year Seniors= RED
Seniors= YELLOW
Juniors= PURPLE
Sophomores= GREEN
Freshmen= BLUE

View The State of Recruiting 2014 in a larger map

Per tradition, here are the top 8 states: 

#1 Ohio

  • 10 players
  • Average Star Rating: 3.6
  • Most Notable: Jarrett Grace (4*), Malik Zaire (4*), Eilar Hardy (4*)
  • Biggest Loss: Dan Fox (3*)
  • Newcomers: DeShone Kizer (4*), Daniel Cage (3*), Jimmy Byrne (3*)
  • 2013 Ranking: #1 (10 / 3.5 A.S.R.)

Ohio stays on top as "King of the mountain, mountain" for the second year in a row. As a fellow Ohioan that played football in this great state, the fact that Ohio leads the pack is a source of misplaced pride in my heart. Still, there is a lingering question about just how good this mass of talent really is. If you looked at minutes played for the Ohioans in 2013, it would come out to a very small percentage- most of which was via the now departed Dan Fox. There is a tremendous amount of potential in this group, could 2014 be the year we see more production from guys like Grace, Hounshell, Hardy, and dare I say… Zaire? Perhaps. At any rate, the recruiting machine in this fertile state continues to run strong.

#2 Texas

  • 9 players
  • Average Star Rating: 3.3
  • Most Notable: Cam McDaniel (3*), Nicky Barrati (3*), Corey Robinson (4*)
  • Biggest Loss: NONE
  • Newcomers: Nick Watkins (4*), Grant Blankenship (3*), Kolin Hill (3*)
  • 2013 Ranking: #6 (6 / 3.3 A.S.R.)

BOOM. Just like that, Texas shoots up the ladder in these rankings. The Irish scored 3 new players from Texas, and they made it a HUGE point to acknowledge that all three were offered by the Texas Longhorns. Notre Dame is gunning hard at the talent in this land of nothing but talent, and they aren't being shy about it in the process. Kerry Cooks has done an excellent job, and the Shamrock Series as well as future games against the Longhorns are helping the Irish set a strong foothold in the state. This group is fairly young, and with only Cam McDaniel leaving at the end of the year and 11 offers out of the 75 known total for 2015, Texas could see itself at the top of the mountain, mountain very soon.

#3 Indiana

  • 7 players
  • Average Star Rating: 3.5
  • Most Notable: Sheldon Day (4*), Jaylon Smith (5*), Nick Martin (3*)
  • Biggest Loss: Zach Martin (4*), Gunner Kiel (5*)
  • Newcomers: Justin Brent (4*), Drue Tranquill (3*)
  • 2013 Ranking: #3 (8 / 3.75 A.S.R.)

I always feel like I need to apologize for Indiana's perennial high ranking in this study. Yes, Indiana is not really known for its high school football (at least in a good way), but between Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, there is always the possibility to haul in 2-4 really good players each year. That, in itself, will always keep the Hoosier state in the mix as one of the top talent producing states for Notre Dame. In fact, you could argue that the talent from Indiana has been equally as productive for the Irish over the past few years as any other state represented. However, there might a bit of a downslide as there is not one offer out to a player from Indiana out of the known 75 right now. 

#4 Illinois

  • 7 players
  • Average Star Rating: 3.28
  • Most Notable: DaVaris Daniels (4*), Christian Lombard (4*), 
  • Biggest Loss: Tommy Rees (3*), Chris Watt (4*)
  • Newcomers: Nyles Morgan (4*), Nile Sykes (3*), Nic Weisher (3*)
  • 2013 Ranking: #7 (6 / 3.33 A.S.R.)

Illinois, Schmillinois. This is about the State of Chicago and it always has been- and always will be in regards to Notre Dame Football recruiting. Notre Dame is doing about as well as it should, but there have been more misses or phantom misses over the past few years than you might expect with some of that talent heading south or to out of state Big 10 schools. Notre Dame should still continue to do well and the addition of Morgan, Sykes, and Weisher should keep the talent from this state shining under the Dome, but as with Indiana, there are no known offers for 2015 right now. 

#5 Florida

  • 6 players
  • Average Star Rating: 3.8
  • Most Notable: Tarean Folston (4*), Greg Bryant (5*)
  • Biggest Loss: Louis Nix (4*)
  • Newcomers: Corey Holmes (4*)

How the mighty have fallen. Well, at least a little bit. For a state as insanely rich in talent as Florida is, it is now at its lowest number of players since I started doing this. The lowest previous number of players was 8 in 2008 and 2011. The Irish only added Corey Holmes from Florida for 2014, and lost 3 guys to transfer in Wood, Heggie, and Ferguson, while Nix bypassed another year for the NFL. So… it could have seen 10 players theoretically. Still, getting only ONE plater from Florida is not acceptable for Irish fans or this coaching staff. I would say that a safe bet would be for Florida to rise back up in these rankings next year. (FYI… ND still might be the destination for Florida transfer, Cody Riggs).

#6 California

  • 6 players
  • Average Star Rating: 3.3
  • Most Notable: Max Redfield (5*), Amir Carlilse (4*)
  • Biggest Loss: Eddie Vanderdoes (5*), Troy Niklas (4*), George Atkinson III (4*)
  • Newcomers: Tyler Luatua (3*)
  • 2013 Ranking: #4 (7 / 4.0)

Following Florida in the "nose-dive" category, is California. Statistically, is hasn't fell off by much. For 5 of the 7 previous years, California has had 7 players on scholarship. So, six isn't that bad, right? WRONG. Dig below the surface a little bit and you'll find disappointing transfers like Tee Shepard and Eddie Vanderdoes as well as the entire Fresno area, most notably Deontay Greenberry, letting ND know that they are 2nd to everyone in the country- even after exhaustive time, effort, and money spent. I'm not kidding when I say this… outside of the quarterback position, Notre Dame should just stop recruiting California and place more emphasis in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and Georgia. Don't tell me that is a stupid suggestion- just tell me that we should exclude the Fresno area and I'll warm back up to it. 

#7 North Carolina

  • 5 players
  • Average Star Rating: 3.44
  • Most Notable: Kendall Moore (4*), Romeo Okwara (3*)
  • Biggest Loss: Prince Shembo (4*)
  • Newcomers: NONE
  • 2013 Ranking: #6 (6 / 3.5)

Depressing. That's the best way to describe the results for North Carolina recruiting this year- and last year. Notre Dame has landed ZERO recruits from this state over the past two years, and the hurt more this year with one-time 5 star running back Elijah Hood decommiting from Notre Dame to stay in state with the Tar Heels. Ugh. At one time, I really thought North Carolina was going to really be a major supplier of talent for the Irish. Two years of striking out has me thinking otherwise, but perhaps with more visibility in the area due to the new ACC deal- perhaps the Irish can start pulling talent out of this rich and underestimated state. Perhaps.

#8 New York

  • 4 players
  • Average Star Rating: 4.0
  • Most Notable: Ishaq Williams (5*), Jarron Jones (3*)
  • Newcomers: Jay Hayes (4*), Pete Mokwuah (3*)
  • 2013 Ranking: NONE

This is not a misprint. New York has made it into the top 8. New Jersey was tied with New York with 4 players, but I don't do ties anymore and New York had a higher A.S.R. than New Jersey at 4 compared to 3.75. All four players are in the defensive front, and this might amaze me even more. I have no idea if Notre Dame will continue this trend in New York, but I highly doubt it. Until then; NEW YORK NEW YORK!!!

And that just about covers it. Here are some interesting stats that i have included during the past two years that are now updated:

The Pipeline

Over the past 8 years, 5 states have been in the Elite 8 every year. New Jersey was in that category but then they went and lost out to New York by a quarter of a point. Go figure. Of course we could see a decent shift next year, but most of that will be on the bottom end.

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:

2007 9 7 6 8 - 3 - 4 6 - - 4 -
2008 8 7 8 4 - - - 7 7 4 - 4 -
2009 9 7 8 4 - - 4 6 8 - - 6 -
2010 11 7 9 4 - - - 5 7 - 4 7 -
2011 8 9 9 - 4 - - 7 7 - 5 6 -
2012 10 8 10 - 5 - - 10 5 - 6 5 -
2013 9 7 10 - 6 - - 8 6 - 6 4 -
2014 6 6 10 - 9 - - 7 7 - 6 - 4

More Stats That You Will Need

Notre Dame's scholarship roster includes players from 26 states (including Washington D.C.).

There are 11 players from "solo" states with an A.S.R. of 3.7.

The Irish have 7 players from their home state.
The Irish have 22 players from states that border their home state.
The Irish have 8 players from states that border their home state's border states.
You can call this Notre Dame's "homebase." This accounts for 37 players out of the 84 scholarships or, roughly, 44% of their total. 

The Subway Domer

About The Subway Domer

Warlord and Emperor of the Subway Alumni... also, I do this "dad" thing pretty damn well.