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Notre Dame "Home Base" Area Is Loaded In 2024

Notre Dame's backyard is loaded with talented players in the 2024 class, and the Irish are in great position

The Irish Breakdown staff has spent a great deal of time talking about the quality of talent in the North in the 2023 recruiting class. This has been especially true in what should be considered Notre Dame's "home base" area, which consists of states that border Indiana or those that connect to a state that borders Indiana.

It stretches east to Pennsylvania and west to Missouri, although we'll talk a bit more about Pennsylvania in a future article.

Notre Dame already has a pair of Top 100 commits from the area in the 2023 class (Drayk Bowen, Brenan Vernon), another is making his decision on Thursday (Charles Jagusah) and there are other targets on the board from the region.

It seems the 2024 class is even deeper in the region, and the Irish are hoping to take advantage. Actually, they already have.

EARLY RETURNS

Notre Dame already has a pair of highly ranked commits in the 2024 class that either are already ranked as a five-star or are on the verge of it, and both are from Northern schools.

Of course, the five-star player already committed is Saline (Mich.) High School 2024 quarterback C.J. Carr. Any time a class has secured its signal caller this early in advance, it’s a huge bonus to help sell the long term vision. The 6-3, 180-pounder has already made his presence felt on the recruiting trail for Notre Dame. There is no bigger impact than having a five-star quarterback already in the class.

That's one advantage to landing highly ranked players that are also from close by regions. We saw that with Blake Fisher in the 2021 class, we are seeing that with Drayk Bowen in the 2023 class and we are already seeing that with Carr, who has already made two trips back to campus to help recruit since he made his early June commitment.

Notre Dame's first commitment in the 2024 class was West Bloomfield (Mich.) High School defensive lineman Brandon Davis-Swain, and the 6-4, 240-pound end is one of the nation's best prospects. Davis-Swain is ranked as the nation's No. 29 overall player by Rivals and he's No. 38 overall on the On3 consensus rankings. Like Carr, Davis-Swain was someone that the University of Michigan really wanted. 

Winning those battles on two Michigan standouts is a huge example of Marcus Freeman and his staff’s impact on recruiting. Also like Carr, Davis-Swain has been a frequent visitor on campus to help lure other prospects to join him in South Bend.

PUTTING A WALL AROUND INDIANA

Indiana sporadically puts out some notable next level talent, including names such as Blake Fisher, George Karlaftis, David Bell, Pete Werner, Drue Tranquill, Terry McLaurin, Nick Martin, and of course, elite players like Jaylon Smith, Tyler Eifert and Zack Martin. Notre Dame must identify and close on those in-state talents who are Notre Dame caliber players. Notre Dame can't miss on big-time Indiana prospects like we saw above with players like Karlaftis and They have done that relatively well in the past but have had a few misses from time to time. The 2024 cycle brings two players in particular who may be categorized as “must gets” if both sides hold up their end of the bargain.

The top player in the state of Indiana, Fort Wayne (Ind.) Northside athlete Brauntae Johnson is a dynamic two-way star who has the look of a difference maker on the next level. Although many rank him as a wide receiver, Notre Dame prefers Johnson on the defensive side of the football. They believe his athletic gifts could have its biggest impact there on the back end. He is ranked as the No. 34 player in the country according to 247Sports.

With wide receiver being such a hot topic around recruiting for the Irish, New Haven (Ind.) High School pass catcher Mylan Graham is the type of dynamic athlete who could be a welcome addition to the Notre Dame program in the future. His play style is eerily similar to former Notre Dame wide receiver Kevin Stepherson, bringing a high level of smoothness and second gear to the field. Graham is a threat to score whether working vertically or as an after catch threat.

CONTINUE MOMENTUM IN ST. LOUIS

The St. Louis area is one that Notre Dame must begin to tap into more regularly, and they've been doing so in recent seasons. It began in 2019 when the Irish landed Kyren Williams, but the staff has upped things quite a bit in the 2023 and 2024 cycles. The program has a chance to hit a home run in the area.

St. Louis boasts arguably the top wide receiver in the nation in 2024 with St. Louis (Mo.) University star Ryan Wingo. The 6-2, 195-pounder is fresh off his second visit to campus this week and clearly has interest in Notre Dame. Wingo is a national recruit who is attracting the attention of some of the premier programs in college football. He has been linked to Arkansas early with his connection to his brother, Ronnie Wingo, who played running back for the Razorbacks.

Wingo is a five-star recruit and the No. 4 overall player in the country according to the 247Sports composite ranking and the On3 consensus list.

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There are other talented Missouri players on Notre Dame's radar in 2024, including four-star running back Aneyas Williams and four-star wide receiver Jeremiah McClellan. Both have already made multiple trips to campus this offseason and should be back in the fall.

One of the most physically gifted players in the country is Jayshawn Ross, who plays defensive end and wide receiver .... and yes, you read that right. Notre Dame is further behind with this four-star standout, but they are on the board with him.

HITTING ON BIG TIME TALENT

It is simple: to be the best, you have to beat the best. For Notre Dame to become the main recruiting power in the North, they have to beat the likes of Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State consistently for players. That means, even going into some enemy territory to do so.

Coach Deland McCullough had a lot of success at USC coaching current Tampa Bay Buccaneer running back Ronald Jones. If he is looking for a similar player, he needs to take a trip to Wisconsin, where Waukesha (Wis.) Catholic Memorial star Corey Smith is a home run waiting to happen on film. He boasts a dynamic second gear and propensity to eliminate angles on the second and third level.

Notre Dame will know the fate of Glen Ellyn (Ill.) Glenbard South pass catcher Cam Williams on Wednesday when he announces his decision between the Irish, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa and Cincinnati. The 6-2, 185-pound pass catcher is as smooth as they come, while also boasting a high level of vertical speed. In a lot of ways, his game is reminiscent of current Notre Dame wide receiver Lorenzo Styles in a lot of ways.

Chicago (Ill.) St. Ignatius defensive tackle Justin Scott is an intriguing recruit who boasts outstanding size and surprising foot quickness on the interior. At 6-5 and 310 pounds, Scott is an extremely difficult player to move at the point of attack. He is a potentially elite recruit, who already ranks inside the top fifteen overall recruits by two different major recruiting platforms. Scott ranks as the No. 3 overall player and No. 1 defensive lineman in the 2024 class according to On3.

Having only been on the Notre Dame recruiting board for a brief time so far, Sunbury (Ohio) Big Walnut athlete Garrett Stover is one of the more intriguing rover recruits in the 2024 class. The 6-2, 200-pound defender brings an intriguing combination of short area quickness and physicality that could fit well in a rover on the next level. He possesses the requisite level of safety and linebacker skills to offer a lot of versatility to a defense. Considering Stover’s cousin, Cade Stover, is a tight end for the Ohio State program, he has been linked to the home state Buckeyes for some time now. Getting a win here would be massive for the Irish. 

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Irish Breakdown Content

Notre Dame 2022 Roster
Notre Dame 2022 Schedule

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

Notre Dame 2023 Scholarship Offers
Notre Dame 2024 Scholarship Offers

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

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