The quantity in Notre Dame football’s 2021 recruiting class will eventually come.
The quality has already arrived.
Rivals.com on Tuesday updated its top 100 prospects nationally from the class that just completed their junior seasons in high school. Five of the seven players verbally committed to the Irish in that class are in the top 100, with two — quarterback Tyler Buchner and wide receiver Deion Colzie — receiving significant ratings bumps.
Only twice during the coach Brian Kelly Era at ND have the Irish signed more than four top 100 recruits in a single class. Those were the Jaylon Smith-led class of 2013 and the Stephon Tuitt/Aaron Lynch/Ishaq Williams class of 2011. Each of those Notre Dame recruiting classes included six top 100 prospects.
Collectively, the seven four-star prospects constitute the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class at the moment in the 2021 cycle, followed by Ohio State, Texas, Florida and Clemson.
Buchner’s rise of 23 spots to No. 42 gives the Irish three top 50 prospects in that class. Combined with the four top 50 recruits in ND’s 2020 class that will sign National Letters of Intent next week, that gives ND seven in the two ongoing cycles.
That’s two more top 50 recruits than the Irish signed in the previous six classes (2014-19) combined,
Speaking of the 2020 class, Notre Dame continues to push hard to add an 18th potential signee in Bakersfield, Calif., cornerback Ramon Henderson. Irish defensive backs coach Terry Joseph was expected to make an in-home visit with the 6-foot-3, 180 prospect Tuesday night.
The early signing period for the 2020 class runs Dec. 18-20. The Irish also expect to add Ohio State grad transfer safety Isaiah Pryor. He committed to ND on Nov. 3 and will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
Avon, Ind., offensive tackle Blake Fisher (6-6, 330) remains ND’s top-rated prospect in the 2021 class. He’s at No. 18 overall, down one spot.
Next is Pickerington, Ohio, wide receiver Lorenzo Styles Jr. (6-1, 170) at No. 34; followed by Buchner of San Diego at 42; Athens, Ga., wide receiver Colzie (6-4, 205), up 23 spots to No. 72; and St. Peters, Mo., defensive tackle Gabriel Rubio (6-5, 280) at No. 95.
Tight end Cane Berrong (6-4, 225) of Hartwell, Ga., is not in the Rivals top 100, but is in the 247Sports top 100. Offensive lineman Greg Crippen (6-4, 280) of IMG Academy on Bradenton, Fla., is the other verbal commitment in the 2021 class.