There are plenty of things for Notre Dame fans to like about how Marcus Freeman carries himself and goes about his business. From his genuine demeanor, gifted communication skills to even the polished good looks, there's a lot to like. But most of these traits are in the eye of the beholder, what about practical tangible things that can be measured?
One of the biggest issues I and many had in the Kelly era was that we could clearly see glaring areas of the roster that were clearly not good enough, yet nothing seemed to ever change. The same problems would arise year after year. That has changed drastically under the new regime and it is both needed and very much appreciated.
Let's explore some of these areas in detail.
Nov 19, 2022; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA; Wake Forest Demon Deacons quarterback Sam Hartman (10) looks for a receiver as Syracuse Orange linebacker Marlowe Wax (2) charges towards him during the first half at Truist Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Quarterback is the most important individual position in all of sports. Notre Dame has not been nearly good enough in this area for most of my life. To compete in the modern era a major overhaul of Notre Dame's QB room had to take place.
Within 1 calendar year Notre Dame's talent and potential in this room has been elevated significantly. Sam Hartman, Kenny Minchey, and CJ Carr is a QB room to be proud of. One with elite upside and multiple options of a star to emerge. This staff knew this was a dire need and attacked it aggressively. Great job!
SOUTH BEND, INDIANA - OCTOBER 15: Tobias Merriweather #15 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish catches a pass for a touchdown against Kendall Williamson #21 of the Stanford Cardinal during the second half at Notre Dame Stadium on October 15, 2022 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Another glaring area of weakness was the Wide Receiver room. It has simply not been competitive enough when compared to the upper echelon teams the Irish are trying to overtake. Again, Notre Dame's staff saw what the fans saw and jumped into action.
Notre Dame was in trouble not only in terms of just not having top level talent, but even the literal number of receivers on the team regardless of talent level was unworkable. What did the staff do? Hammer recruiting to the tune of Braylon James, Jaden Greathouse, Rico Flores, Kaleb Smith in 2023 and are after a slew of highly regarded ball catchers in 2024 as well such as verbal commit Cam Williams and Ryan Wingo who has serious Notre Dame interest. Again, great job reacting fast to fill needs.
Notre Dame defensive lineman Justin Ademilola (9) and Notre Dame defensive lineman Jayson Ademilola (57) celebrate during the Notre Dame vs. California NCAA football game Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend.
Notre Dame Vs California
A new worry that has crept up on Irish fans lately is depth and bulk at Defensive Line. Notre Dame prides itself on its defense and being stout up front against the run. After losing many mainstay reliable pieces to this front, the Irish are trying their best to restock.
Losing Keon Keely from the 2023 class hurt, but the Irish are trying to make up ground by landing Chicago area Catholic League standout Justin Scott along with others such as Bryce Young and Jerod Smith.
Notre Dame may not land all of the players discussed, but there is no denying that this new staff is quick to recognize roster deficiencies and address them aggressively, and that is ultra-reassuring to the fan base. The way the Irish coaches attack recruiting is refreshing, modern and most welcomed.
For more Irish news & notes follow John on Twitter @alwaysirishINC, Always Irish on Youtube and or your preferred audio podcast provider.
Story originally appeared on Fighting Irish Wire