The 2014 College Football National Signing Day has come and gone. It was, at least from my perspective, a fairly quiet day for Notre Dame. That's not exactly a bad thing when it comes to the Fighting Irish and this most holy day. There have been a lot of years where NSD has put a dagger in the heart of the program and twisted it so much, you would have swore that the day was drilling to drain the blood right out.
Was that a bit to graphic and dramatic? Yeah, I suppose it might be, but so have some of the past NSD's been for the Irish.
As I look back upon this day and, seriously, marvel at how quiet it really was, I can't help but wonder why, or how. One reason could be the very nature in which I watched the day unfold. For the first time in 8 years, I have not, nor will I, publish a post with capsules for all of the recruits. You can not begin to understand how much time and effort that takes, and for half of the people visiting the site for that piece, I imagine that their experience boils down to something more like this:
Instead, I offer some general thoughts and observations about Notre Dame Football's incoming class of 2014...
Probably the biggest reason that this NSD felt so quiet was the lack of that "BIG NAME" recruit committing and signing today, and when you add that with the "non-sexy" factor of this class; it felt more like smooth sailing than an extinction level event.
It's okay to say that this class isn't mindblowing or sexy. For real- it's okay. But if you really look at this class and take it for what it is, I think you will truly begin to appreciate the class and the job done by the staff to put it together.
Looking back at the 2014 cycle, the Irish got decommitments from four really good players in Elijah Hood, Isaiah McKenzie, Matt Dickerson, and Richard Yeargin. Notre Dame also struck out in the final day for Terrance Alexander, Miciah Quick, Courtney Garnett, and JuJu Smith. All of that, and they still ended up with the #11 class from Rivals, the #11 class from ESPN, the #10 class from 24/7, and the #6 class from Scout.
AND IT WAS QUIET. Quiet- except the loud bitching from fans who think they know better:
The worst scouting class in nd history.— ND Facebook Comments (@NDfanComments) February 5, 2014
This class truly is a great class, because of the depth and the foundation it provides for the future. This isn't the NFL Draft. You don't need to recruit for spots to fill that year. Recruiting is to fill spots for the next year, and even two years after. This class has those kids in bunches.
If you asked me who my top five favorite recruits are in this class, I would say in no particular order; Pete Mokwuah, Jhonny Williams, Nyles Morgan, Kolin Hill, and Nick Watkins. All five are defensive players, four if the five are in the front seven, and three of them are three of the lowest rated recruits in this class.
Why? Because they show tremendous upside and have the real possibility of becoming great players. It won't be next year, and it may not even be the year after that. Hell, it might not be until 2016 before Williams, Hill, and Mokwuah get serious playing time.
And I'm totally good with that.
This class provides the depth and potential needed for a program that is still trying to develop into a national power year in and year out after decades of dormancy.
I said this wasn't like the NFL Draft, and I meant it. This is more like drafting for an army. A Golden Army that still needs trained, equipped, and orders. I'm okay with that- in fact... I am excited about that fact.
@TheSubwayDomer awww come on! 3 of last 4 years top 10 class. Future is now. SOGOTP Kelly. Expect greatness.
@CFBMatrix blocks for the future.
@CFBMatrix Wasn’t implying that. Some fans were looking for the “WOWZA” factor in this class. It wasn’t sexy but it adds to the building…
@TheSubwayDomer i was just being punchy. Its late. I do feel the expectations for less than a playoff spot are warranted
@TheSubwayDomer yes. they have been for a while. They were on the list that I post first every year in the NC season at midnight after NSD
@CFBMatrix I actually expect a playoff spot. I don’t demand it- but I expect a true contention for one. The pieces are there.