Lemming: Indy Shamrock Series game won't be as big of a recruiting bonanza for Notre Dame

Tom Lemming
South Bend Tribune Correspondent

In terms of this year’s Shamrock Series game in Indianapolis having a big recruiting impact for Notre Dame, I don’t see it.

ND already is dominating Indiana. They get all that they want in the state, so it doesn’t really help them. Purdue is so far down that they don’t have a shot against Notre Dame, and Indiana doesn’t really either.

What the game does do is give people in Indianapolis a chance to see Notre Dame up close. But as far as the state's top high school players, they already have been leaning to the school. The Irish just don’t really need much push in their own state.

When the Notre Dame coaches work Indiana, they generally have success. Sometimes, because they just forget about the state, Michigan will get some players. This year’s ND class includes two Indiana kids in

linebacker Josh Barajas from Merrillville and defensive lineman Brandon Tiassum of Indianapolis.

Where it can help more is with kids who are from a little bit further south, places such as Louisville and Cincinnati, not to mention downstate Illinois players.

Cincinnati and southwest Ohio are loaded for next year, so it would be a good idea to make inroads there.

Brian Kelly's staff has been getting the job done in Indiana whereas the previous three staffs really didn’t. Jaylon Smith obviously has been the super big catch. Charlie Weis landed Jeff Samardzija, but the competition for him wasn't extreme. He had offers but nothing huge. Current freshman Drue Tranquill was not heavily recruited, and Purdue had him committed before Notre Dame offered.

Notre Dame is one of the best counter-punchers in college football when it comes to plucking kids from other schools.

What this fast start to the season has done is create a buzz. I think people are starting to pick up on Notre Dame possibly being a juggernaut this year.

The goal now is to get as many 2016 kids on campus as the can. The current class is good, not great, but ND is only a few players away from having a top-10 class.

ND still needs a quarterback. Torrance Gibson from Florida is a kid that I like. He has to be developed, but he’s a real good athlete, and reminds me a little bit of Teddy Bridgewater, who a lot of schools wanted to play at other positions. If Notre Dame doesn’t get Gibson, it's probably going to have to poach a kid from another school.

Michigan rewind

The Michigan weekend was fabulous for Notre Dame. The Irish had great weather, great enthusiasm and then probably the most complete game they’ve played in years.

With enthusiasm and momentum, the key is to land the kids who had recent visits. Don’t let them get into the holidays, otherwise the chances increase that they’ll get away.

Once they leave campus it becomes the job of the assistant coach to stay on them. They can’t let the kids take their time. It’s time to push.

More impressive, however, than the seniors in for the game was the list of juniors. It included some of the best players in the Midwest, as well as Notre Dame’s top two quarterback prospects – Malik Henry and Shea Patterson.

They really want Henry. The staff thinks he can become the next Everett Golson. Quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur is doing a very good job with Henry.

The best offensive lineman in the country in the 2017 group – Josh Meyers out of Miamisburg, Ohio – was also at the game. Great kid. Mom and dad were both athletes.

Notre Dame and Purdue meet Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. (AP Photo)