Notre Dame football: Grading Fighting Irish 2021 recruiting class

Brian Kelly, Notre Dame Fighting Irish. (Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
Brian Kelly, Notre Dame Fighting Irish. (Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) /

Here are grades for the Notre Dame football 2021 recruiting class, as Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish hope to stay in the College Football Playoff mix. 

Notre Dame football is a one-year member of the ACC for the abbreviated and altered 2020 college season and, as fate would have it, the Fighting Irish are now heading toward a College Football Playoff berth. But the goal for Brian Kelly is to keep his team in that mix beyond just their lone season in the ACC.

To do that, the Fighting Irish essentially need to stay the course. Lucky for them, that’s exactly what they’ve done in the 2021 recruiting cycle. Notre Dame has another strong class set to come to South Bend.

Now that we know that much, let’s examine the Notre Dame 2021 recruiting class and hand out a grade for this group. Note: All rankings are via the 247 Sports Composite.

Biggest Notre Dame football commit for 2021: Tyler Buchner, QB

Quarterback Ian Book has enjoyed a fantastic career with Notre Dame, but he’s about to be gone. As such, that opens the door for a player of Buchner’s caliber to see the field right away. If he reaches his potential, which seems likely, we could legitimately see Buchner be a better version of Book with a better arm and more mobility. He gives the offense something to hang its hat on for the future.

Strengths, weaknesses of the 2021 Notre Dame football recruiting class

South Bend has produced some upper-echelon offensive linemen as of late, and this could be the next group to fit that bill. Not only are there five newcomers, but two of those players are top-60 recruits and two more rank in the top 400.

Notre Dame has some enticing young running backs already on the roster, but they need some more stability there moving forward. That won’t come from this class, however, as the Irish signed only one player at the position in this class.

Diamond in the rough of the 2021 Notre Dame football class: Cane Berrong, TE

Under Kelly’s watch, we’ve seen the Notre Dame offense rely heavily on the tight end in the passing game. So looking at the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Berrong, a 4-star recruit from Georgia, you have to think that the coaching staff has to like his tools and what he could become for the offense.

Where does Notre Dame football rank in the 2021 recruiting cycle?

It’s a low bar to clear, if we’re being frank, but Notre Dame is the top-ranked independent program. More importantly, they are a top-10 class overall, ranking No. 9 in the country for the 2021 class.

Notre Dame football recruiting grade: A-

This isn’t the best Notre Dame football recruiting class we’ve ever seen, but it’s great in the spots it needs to be. With some more depth, we could drop the minus from this grade.

Next. Best college football running backs of the 21st century. dark

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