There are many ways to evaluate matchups, and one of those ways is to look at things from a recruiting standpoint. USC clearly has the best recruiting profile for any Irish opponent up to this standpoint.
Here are the 247Sports composite rankings for the starters and top rotation players for the Notre Dame offense and the USC defense.
Notre Dame has a couple of lineup changes that have changed its overall recruiting profile for its starting lineup. Top 100 recruit Tosh Baker and Top 100 recruit Zeke Correll are out of the starting lineup. Correll's replacement (Andrew Kristofic) was a four-star recruit and a Top 200 recruit, but true freshman Joe Alt was a three-star recruit.
Notre Dame still has seven four-star recruits and a five-star recruit in its starting lineup.
USC has seven four-star recruits and three three-star recruits in its starting lineup. The Trojan defense can match the number of Top 100 recruits in the rotation (4) that Notre Dame possesses (4).
Now let's look at the Notre Dame defense and the Trojan offense.
Notre Dame's defense has fewer overall four-star recruits and former Top 100 recruits than its own offense despite clearly being the better unit. Notre Dame has three former Top 100 recruits in its starting lineup/rotation.
USC's offense has six former four-star recruits in the starting lineup and four more coming off the bench as part of its rotation. The Trojans have three former four-star recruits in its rotation on offense.
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 - 7
2020 - 64
2019 - 20
2018 - 4
2017 - 4
Advantage: Notre Dame
Irish Breakdown Content
Become a premium Irish Breakdown member, which grants you access to all of our premium content, our premium message board and gets you a FREE subscription to Sports Illustrated! Click on the link below for more
Be sure to stay locked into Irish Breakdown all the time!
Join the Irish Breakdown community!
Subscribe to the Irish Breakdown YouTube channel
Subscribe to the Irish Breakdown podcast on iTunes
Follow me on Twitter: @CoachD178
Follow me on Parler: @BryanDriskell
Like and follow Irish Breakdown on Facebook