The Notre Dame 2023 recruiting class is heralded by many as the best in recent Irish history. It could potentially be the one that breaks the National Championship drought in South Bend. But that class, currently the consensus top-ranked class in the country, is far from finished. The Irish have a few holes to shore up. Here are three potential Irish recruits that are current X-Factors in the 2023 cycle.
Notre Dame 2023 Recruiting Class X-Factors
First Priority: Dante Moore, Quarterback
Obviously. The Notre Dame 2023 recruiting class and its ceiling hinge on Dante Moore’s recruitment. His prospect rating on 247Sports is .9976. If Notre Dame reels in Moore, he becomes the fourth highest Irish recruit since 2000. With elite quarterbacks come elite receivers, and Notre Dame could make this an all-time class with Moore.
Notre Dame has been great with this recruitment, really knocking it out of the park on multiple campus visits. However, they have far from locked down Moore’s services. Former Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly and his LSU squad are making a push. Oregon, Michigan, and Miami remain in contention as well.
As far as backup options? Well, there aren’t many. Notre Dame is alright in its quarterback depth, with two more years of Tyler Buchner. But Moore is a program changer. The Irish have pushed some other 2023 offers out there, but head coach Marcus Freeman and Co. have put their eggs in the Dante Moore basket. And it’s pivotal that it pays off.
Second Priority: Christian Gray, Cornerback
The Notre Dame 2023 recruiting class boasts two defensive backs, both at the safety position. However, cornerback is a high-priority position for the Irish. It’s not a deep position for Notre Dame on its current roster. And after reeling in one four-star in the 2022 class, the coaches would likely love another one or two top recruits at the position in 2023. For that reason, Christian Gray should be priority number one on the defensive side of the ball and second priority overall.
The Irish are the definitive favorite for the St. Louis product. Again, LSU remains the biggest competitor. Ohio State and USC are also potential players in Gray’s recruitment. Can the Irish bring it home? It would be a big win for Freeman and Notre Dame.
Notre Dame isn’t as desolate here if it somehow loses out on Gray. They’re also favorites for Micah Bell. In an ideal world, Notre Dame lands its potential cornerback tandem of the future in Gray and Bell. They’re also competing with Cal for Jasiah Wagoner, a Washington product. Gray’s the top option here, but Wagoner and Bell are both names to watch.
Third Priority: Monroe Freeling, Offensive Tackle
Can Notre Dame go three for three on Carolina-area offensive linemen? Both of the Irish’s current offensive line commitments were once considered Clemson leans. Now both are committed to wearing the blue and gold. Monroe Freeling could make it three.
Freeling is a four-star tackle and is also currently considered to slightly favor Clemson. Right now, Notre Dame is considered a heavy favorite to also land tackle Charles Jagusah, so Freeling could give the Irish a trio of four-star offensive linemen. That’s a solid class, particularly as the Irish boast two returning true sophomore tackles in 2022. They also reeled in a great 2022 recruiting class at offensive line. In the end, Freeman will gladly take quality over quantity, and Freeling is the next piece in building another gem of an offensive line class.
As far as backup options go, there’s not a lot out there right now, but more could develop. Jagusah and Freeling are the elite guys that Notre Dame wants in this class, and they stand a solid chance at getting both. Five-star Samson Okunloa would be a reach, and he’s not considered a likely option, but it’s a name to remember if one of the Irish’s primary options falls through.