SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The Notre Dame Football Program is bringing in a charismatic leader to be its next Head Coach. That will change which recruits come to Notre Dame, as well as which coaches want to be at Notre Dame and work with soon to be named Head Coach Marcus Freeman.
Bringing in Freeman to be the next Head Coach is not official, but it’s about to be and will be a huge step forward for the Irish. See Irish Breakdown’s article here about Freeman being the next Head Coach for Notre Dame.
After Coach Brian Kelly bolted for Baton Rouge, La., the decision makers at Notre Dame needed to determine the best choice for the next leader of the program. Here are two of the prime reasons why making Coach Freeman the Head Coach of Notre Dame was the right choice.
There has been but one recruiter at Notre Dame on the same level as Coach Freeman since legendary Head Coach Lou Holtz (1986-1996) left South Bend, and that would be Urban Meyer. He was an assistant coach for the Fighting Irish from 1996-2000, coaching the wide receivers.
On the recruiting trail, Coach Meyer flipped numerous recruits to Notre Dame, much the same way he did for Utah, Florida and Ohio State thereafter. Recruits selected Coach Meyer far more than they did the school. That’s how big-time college recruiting often plays out. Prospects want to play for coaches. Like it or not, that’s reality and that trend grows by the year.
Coach Freeman, like Coach Meyer, is very charismatic. If anyone watches him speak or listens to someone discuss Coach Freeman’s character (unlike Coach Meyer’s, sadly), it’s always positive.
Speaking with numerous high school coaches, seven-on-seven coaches, and recruits themselves throughout Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Texas, and Alabama since Coach Freeman joined the Notre Dame coaching staff, there has not been a college coach mentioned more from above the Mason Dixon Line than him. When a coach from a northern school has gained that much traction down South, it’s important.
Not being a reporter covering Notre Dame, that’s a telling sign that Coach Freeman’s name comes up consistently when tracking recruits in SEC country. It’s hard to imagine how often his name is brought up when someone that actually tracks Notre Dame recruiting.
Especially for defensive recruiting – cornerback and defensive line in particular – there’s a need to go down South and bring some of the nation’s best talent to Notre Dame, positions that traditionally Notre Dame struggles to find and sign enough of.
That’s what Coach Freeman has helped Notre Dame do already, and it’s going to continue based on the evidence to date. Plus, there’s something else to consider about Coach Freeman now.
When he walks into a high school or young man’s house wearing that Notre Dame emblem on his polo as the Head Coach of the Fighting Irish, yes, the fact that he has become the Head Coach of the Fighting Irish will add to his aura.
Notre Dame is a worldwide brand and high school head coaches and seven-on-seven coaches know it. Adding Freeman to that mix multiplies the effect because many high school football recruits know Coach Freeman now, and many of them knew little to nothing about Notre Dame prior to being recruited by the Irish.
That’s because he’s a tireless recruiter that’s a true people person. His ability to truly enjoy communicating with people helps him along the recruiting trail. Sounds simple, but it’s impact can and will be great for Notre Dame because of how Coach Freeman makes people feel comfortable with him. It’s honestly hard to define with words. Moving forward, it’s going to be an avalanche of recruiting wins for Notre Dame, starting with the current commitments.
Look for Notre Dame to keep most if not all of the players currently committed in the classes of 2022 and 2023. One can bet that several more recruits will jump on the Notre Dame train with Coach Freeman now the head man, too. To that end, one last point regarding recruiting before moving on to assistant coaches.
Do not be surprised when some “unexpected” recruits visit and/or commit to Notre Dame within the next 12 months. Already receiving a phone call from a top seven-on-seven coach about taking recruits up to Notre Dame if Coach Freeman was hired a few days ago, it’s safe to now write that the influx of unofficial visits will increase.
That phone call was received almost immediately after the news of Coach Kelly heading to LSU. This particular seven-on-seven coach met Coach Freeman one time, just for a few minutes this last summer, and it impacted him that much.
For the record, this coach hails from Florida. That’s not exactly an easy trip with a team of players but he’s determined to make it up to South Bend. That says a lot about Coach Freeman and the man he has become. Now onto assistant coaching hires for Notre Dame.
If there was any doubt about Coach Freeman’s ability to bring on top assistants and/or keep top assistants at Notre Dame, here’s another story from Irish Breakdown detailing the importance of keeping Defensive Line Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Mike Elston at Notre Dame. With that out of the way, consider the attractiveness of an LSU assistant coaching job.
Easy to recruit, warm weather, a crazy group of fans that root for the Tigers, and of course the big money that comes with coaching at LSU. Still, Notre Dame will keep assistants that both Coach Freeman and Coach Kelly coveted from this year's Notre Dame coaching staff. What does that tell someone?
The five assistant coaches that Coach Freeman wants to keep at Notre Dame (That number could climb?) are staying. Plus, Strength and Conditioning Coach Matt Balis will stay on at Notre Dame, one of the best within the industry he works within.
Sure, many of these individuals love Notre Dame and it certainly impacts their decision to stay as a coach of the Fighting Irish. Coach Freeman still represents the primary reason that they decided to stay in South Bend and not head to Baton Rouge with Coach Kelly.
That’s very telling about how good of a hire Coach Freeman is for Notre Dame. It should also be an indicator of what’s to come for him to fill out the rest of his assistant coaching staff.
After learning about Coach Freeman, there’s really no reason to doubt that those acquisitions will go well, too.