Posted by Bryan Fischer
Notre Dame is 17th in the latest MaxPreps team rankings about halfway to Signing Day but Brian Kelly and staff have their eye on another top 10 class. The current group of 13 commitments is a bit light on linemen but more than makes up for that fact in the skill position department.
Defensive back Ronald Darby has high-end speed and can roam the secondary as either a safety or a cornerback. It might be tough to keep his commitment all the way through Signing Day but he's a five-star player who could come in and play early for the Irish. Cornerback Tee Shepard is a talented cover corner and was a top performer this summer at several 7-on-7 competitions. Shepard's cousin, wide receiver Deontay Greenberry, is also a great pick up for the staff and he can flat-out dominate at times.
The most recent commit is defensive tackle Sheldon Day and he's a big body on the inside but has the quickness of a defensive end. His first step explosiveness is much better than defensive linemen Notre Dame had been getting and he's an Indiana kid to boot. Others of note in this class include Nicky Baratti, who's a big safety prospect out of Texas, and outside linebacker David Perkins, who is a terror as a speed rusher off the edge. Justin Ferguson is a very good looking receiver who can matchup well against some physical defensive backs with his size.
The Irish still have plenty of time to add to their class of 2012. They are in the running for several top players, including big-time running back Keith Marshall out of North Carolina. Several other elite prospects have the Irish in their top five and with the season starting, a good start on the field for Notre Dame could pay dividends off the field. Though it is an away game, there will be a lot of eyes on the Michigan night game and there will be a ton of recruits from all over the country on the sidelines. A home game versus USC will also draw a lot of players that the Irish can impress.
Notre Dame has a solid but not elite recruiting class at the moment but there are several reasons why they are a class that could be on the rise.