There are many ways to evaluate matchups, and one of those ways is to look at things from a recruiting standpoint. North Carolina has certainly upped its recruiting game in recent seasons since head coach Mack Brown arrived. This is an intriguing matchup from a recruiting standpoint.
Here are the 247Sports composite rankings for the starters and top rotation players for the Notre Dame offense and the North Carolina defense.
Eight of Notre Dame's 11 starters on offense were a four (7) or five-star (1) recruit coming out of high school. That includes its entire wide receiver rotation, tight end rotation and its top two running backs. When quarterback Tyler Buchner is in the game make that nine Notre Dame players that were four or five-star recruits.
North Carolina sophomore cornerback Tony Grimes was a five-star recruit and the Tar Heels have three more former four-star recruits. North Carolina has as many former Top 100 recruits in its starting lineup on defense as the Fighting Irish have on offense, and more than the Notre Dame defense.
The Tar Heels have a secondary filled with former top recruits, which makes the matchup against Notre Dame's talented and formerly high-ranked recruits at wide receiver and tight end very intriguing.
Now let's look at the Notre Dame defense and the Tar Heel offense.
With former Top 100 recruit Kyle Hamilton out for this game the Irish defense has just four former four-star recruits in the projected starting lineup. Should rover/safety Isaiah Pryor start it would jump the number by one.
Notre Dame does bring in several former four-star players off the bench.
North Carolina's entire starting offensive line and its tight end depth chart is filled with former three-star recruits. It's skill players, however, are former top recruits.
Quarterback Sam Howell and running back Ty Chandler - a transfer from Tennessee - were both former Top 100 recruits, as was sophomore wide receiver Josh Downs. Wideout Antoine Green is also a player that was graded as a four-star recruit coming out of high school.
Here are the class rankings of the two programs from the last five seasons. (247Sports composite)
2021 - 9
2020 - 18
2019 - 15
2018 - 10
2017 - 10
2021 - 14
2020 - 13
2019 - 30
2018 - 20
2017 - 29
Advantage: Notre Dame
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