The 2021 Recruiting Cycle Could Be Unlike Anything We've Ever Seen
Chaos is on the horizon in the recruiting world of college football. The shutdown has caused several issues that shook up just about everything, not just recruiting, but college football as a whole. Now Notre Dame could be reaping the benefits for the 2021 class.
A Class Unlike Any Other
The 2021 class has had a recruiting process unlike any other. The strange process has brought even stranger results.
According to 247Sports recruiting analyst Bud Elliott, as of May 30, 2020 there have been 913 commitments made to FBS programs. On the same date in 2019 that number stood at 390.
We are seeing more players commit at a staggering rate. Most haven't been able to see the campus in person or even meet some coaches in person. Teams like Tennessee and North Carolina are recruiting at an incredible clip as well. While I don't want to take anything away from Mack Brown or Jeremy Pruitt, things will settle in soon.
Coaches can thrive by adapting to this new recruiting process, but college football is returning to normal. Schools have announced they will let players return for voluntary workouts starting in June. Schools like Iowa State have said they will have half capacity and it looks like games will be happening on time. The structure and schedule will look a bit altered, but even recruiting and visits to campus will return soon. That is where Notre Dame can turn the tide.
Turning The Tide
With so many players committing early due to the circumstances that created a five-month dead period, when (or if) things open up again there is a greater chance that we’ll see an equally staggering rate of decommitments and flips.
With the mass exodus of commits likely coming, Notre Dame can finally play off their biggest strength. Getting players on campus has always been the program’s biggest draw, and that has not been able to happen since February.
Once the recruiting weekend in March was canceled, it felt like a shift had taken place for the 2021 class. Notre Dame lost wide receiver commit Deion Colzie, and top running back target Will Shipley. Rumors surround the possibility of defensive end commit David Abiara flipping to Oklahoma, and all the momentum of a once-promising class is slipping away.
However, things could be on the verge of changing in the coming months.
Michigan offensive lineman Rocco Spindler is a player to keep an eye on and would be a target to get a visit in once recruiting opens. Another is Tennessee linebacker Prince Kollie. Irish Breakdown recruiting analyst Mason Plummer recently covered the talented recruit and his comparison to current Notre Dame starting rover Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.
Notre Dame has had success flipping players committed to other programs in the past. In fact, eight of Notre Dame’s expected 22 starters in the upcoming season were once committed to other programs. Even Notre Dame’s placekicker (Jonathan Doerer) was a prospect that was once committed to another program before signing with Notre Dame.
With the current situation being what it is, the Notre Dame staff will need to ramp things up to an even greater degree in 2021 if it wants to bring in a top class.
Recruiting is still a murky subject as we still don't have a definite answer to the season. With teams returning in June and everything starting to get back to normal, it means the time for the Notre Dame staff to really ramp things up is coming soon.
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