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Recruiting Needs For The 2023 Class: Defense Edition

Breaking down the defensive class needs for Notre Dame in the 2023 class

From a defensive standpoint the Notre Dame staff is already focused on the 2023 class, and the group is off to a tremendous start. Notre Dame already has six commits on defense in the class, and they are just getting started.

Looking at the current roster projection for the 2023 class the Irish should be able to get to around 25 scholarships. Those are very good numbers, and the projections mean Notre Dame still has room to add several more defenders on all three levels of the defense.

Here is a look at the needs for the defensive class.


Need: 4-5
Commit: Keon Keeley (DE), Brenan Vernon (DE)

Notre Dame signed just six total defensive linemen in the last two classes, so the 2022 class has a need for numbers. Of course, building a championship defense requires elite talent, which is also a need for the class.

Notre Dame is off to a brilliant start, landing five-star end Keon Keeley and Top 50 recruit Brenan Vernon, also an end It's hard to envision a better defensive end start for Notre Dame.

Landing at least two more players up front is ideal for Notre Dame, but three more could work if it's the right combination. Notre Dame needs at least one pure interior defender and another power player that could play inside and outside. Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha star Jason Moore is exactly that kind of player.

Notre Dame has a chance to have one of, if not the best defensive line classes in the country, but that will be determined by how they finish.


Need: 2-3
Commit: Drayk Bowen

Notre Dame landed four linebackers in the 2022 class but it must follow that up with another strong class due to misses in previous classes. Three is the ideal number but landing just two is something the staff could get away with if Drayk Bowen is combined with another player that could play rover.

Ideally landing one more inside player and another player that could line up at rover is the ideal scenario in my opinion. Of course, Bowen could also be a really good rover, which gives the staff some flexibility when filling out the linebacker class.


Need: 2-3
Commit: Justyn Rhett

Landing six cornerbacks in the last two classes has put Notre Dame in position to focus on impact players in the 2023 class. Two is the minimum need, but there is room for a third cornerback if it means adding another impact corner.

Landing Justyn Rhett gives Notre Dame a long, physical cornerback that fits into the boundary position, and he's a Top 100 recruit. At this point it's not about complementing him with a field player, it's about landing the best possible cover corners possible.

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Need: 2-3
Commit: Peyton Bowen, Adon Shuler

Three is the ideal number at safety, but Notre Dame landing Peyton Bowen and Adon Shuler gives the Irish the best safety haul in the country at the current moment. Bowen is a legit Top 50 caliber recruit and Shuler is a Top 150 prospect.

I could see a scenario in which Notre Dame adds one more pure safety and another prospect that is a corner/safety hybrid type of player that would take the third cornerback spot.

Caleb Downs is the dream prospect for Notre Dame at safety, but there are other talented targets on the board.

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Irish Breakdown Content

Notre Dame 2021 Roster
Notre Dame 2021 Schedule

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

Notre Dame 2023 Class Big Board


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