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Recruiting Comparison: Notre Dame vs North Carolina

Breaking down how the Notre Dame Fighting Irish stack up against the North Carolina Tar Heels from a recruiting standpoint

There are many ways to evaluate matchups, and one of them is to look at things from a recruiting standpoint, and the Notre Dame vs North Carolina matchup are one of the more intriguing you'll see this season.

North Carolina hasn't been a dominant team on the field in recent seasons, although they are off to a hot start while jumping out to a 3-0 record to begin the season. What head coach Mack Brown and his staff have done well since he returned back in 2019 is recruit quite well.

Let's take a look at how the two teams stack up. 

Here are the 247Sports composite rankings for the starters and top rotation players for the Notre Dame offense and the North Carolina defense.

ND Offense vs UNC Defense

Notre Dame lost a Top 100 recruit from the lineup when quarterback Tyler Buchner was lost for the season, although his replacement - Drew Pyne - was still a four-star, Top 250 caliber recruit.

Notre Dame still has four former Top 100 recruits in the starting lineup on offense, which makes the team's current struggles all the more frustrating. In fact, 10 of Notre Dame's 11 starters on offense were former four or five-star recruits. The only three-star is left tackle Joe Alt, who is one of Notre Dame's best players.

Notre Dame also puts a number of four-star players on the field when they dive into the depth chart.

North Carolina has a talented defense that has greatly underachieved so far this season. They have certainly recruited better than their numbers would otherwise represent. Ironically, the only former five-star recruit to start for the Tar Heels is on defense (cornerback Tony Grimes).

Now let's look at the Notre Dame defense and the North Carolina offense.

ND Defense vs UNC Offense

Notre Dame doesn't have as many former top recruits on the defensive side of the ball, and from a strictly recruiting rankings standpoint this is a much closer battle than the matchup of the Irish offense.

Notre Dame has six starters that were former four-star recruits, which now includes freshman cornerback Benjamin Morrison, who started against California. All four of Notre Dame's starting defensive linemen were former four-star recruits. Notre Dame's only current defensive All-American - safety Brandon Joseph - was a three-star recruit and was ranked as the No. 1005 player in the country coming out of high school.

North Carolina has five former four-star recruits in the starting lineup and adds three more in the rotation. Two of North Carolina's Top 100 recruits in the starting lineup are skill players, including quarterback Drake Maye (No. 56 overall) and wide receiver Josh Downs (No. 95), who missed the last two games with an injury.

CLASS RANKINGS

Here are the class rankings of the two programs from the last five seasons. (247Sports composite)

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NOTRE DAME

2022 - 7
2021 - 9
2020 - 18
2019 - 15
2018 - 10

NORTH CAROLINA

2022 - 11
2021 - 14
2020 - 16
2019 - 31
2018 - 20

Advantage: Notre Dame

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Notre Dame 2023 Class Big Board
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Notre Dame 2023 Commits Board - Defense

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Notre Dame 2024 Scholarship Offers

Ranking The 2022 Signees - Offense
Ranking The 2022 Signees - Defense

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