If this is an eventful week for Notre Dame, it will add a grand total of one player to the recruiting class of 2021. Somehow, despite a pandemic crippling all usual recruiting tactics, the Irish signed their other 23 commitments and three surprises during December’s early signing period, leaving only consensus three-star running back Logan Diggs (Rummel High School; Metairie, La.) as a possibility tomorrow, National Signing Day.
But even if Diggs flips his commitment to LSU at the last minute, Notre Dame put together a complete class. Weighing its merits, with pandemic qualifiers or not, can wait until Diggs makes his decision, but until then, let’s refresh how thorough this class already is, hence the lack of consternation as this chaotic recruiting cycle concludes.
The 23 commitments were headlined by consensus four-star quarterback Tyler Buchner, already enrolled and beginning classes tomorrow. Little more needs to be discussed about Buchner until he takes college reps, preferably in front of at least a small audience, but given the nature of the insatiable content machine, much more will be discussed about him before then. Those reps will be vital, given Buchner did not get a senior season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Spring football, learning the strength and conditioning program and getting all those things, the transition to college, they all get that,” Irish head coach Brian Kelly said during December’s signing period. “They’re very well-versed in understanding that.
“What are they giving up? Are they giving up a spring season? … They’re looking for that next challenge.”
Buchner’s decision to enroll early, much like the other 13 early enrollees including the other four who were deprived of senior seasons, is more about embracing that next challenge than about what he will miss. The possible regret, though, will dissipate the sooner he can get onto a practice field, something that may wait until as late as the end of April.