Marcus Freeman has Notre Dame football's 2023, 2024 recruiting classes looking strong

Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman stands with his players during the alma mater following the Notre Dame Blue-Gold Spring Football game on Saturday, April 23, 2022, at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend.

SOUTH BEND — There is something unique about Marcus Freeman's relationship with his players. On Dec. 3, 2021 the Notre Dame social media team posted a video of Freemen greeting his team for the first time after being named head coach.

The players cheered and surrounded Freeman with excitement.

Perhaps it's connections like that, as well as an obsession with the craft, as to why Freeman and the Irish are making so much progress on the recruiting trail.

In the past month Notre Dame reeled in Class of 2023 four-star commitments in cornerback Micah Bell (Houston), linebacker Charles Jagusah (Rock Island, Ill.), defensive lineman Brenan Vernon (Mentor, Ohio), and wide receiver Rico Flores (Folsom, Calif.).

Freeman has been on the recruiting trail since his first day as head coach. 

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"I'd better be the lead recruiter," he said during his introductory press conference, "on every kid that we recruit." 

When former Irish head coach Brian Kelly departed for LSU following the 2021 regular season, Freeman was promoted after just one year as Notre Dame's defensive coordinator.

During that year Freeman proved his worth as a recruiter, landing four-star defensive end Tyson Ford (incoming freshman), who chose Notre Dame over Oklahoma.

Tyson Ford (98) during football practice April 2, 2022 at the Irish Athletics Center in South Bend.

He also closed on star cornerback Jaden Mickey, defensive end Aiden Gobaira and linebacker Josh Burnham. All could contribute as freshman in 2022.

Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman during football practice April 2, 2022 at the Irish Athletics Center in South Bend.

According to 247 sports, Notre Dame has the top recruiting class of 2023 ahead of Ohio State, Texas, Clemson and Penn State. The class consists of one five-star — defensive end Keon Keeley from Tampa — 15 four-stars and two three-stars. 

It doesn't stop there because Freeman has also been focused on In the 2024 class, Notre Dame already has five commitments, with five-star quarterback CJ Carr as the headliner.

Carr, the grandson of former Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr, has been a great hype man for the university. He's been on Twitter celebrating the recruits that commit to Notre Dame.

Here's a look at who Freeman and his staff has received commitments from as of this week:

Class of 2023

(Position | Ht./wt. | 247 ranking | Date committed | High school)

Keon Keeley

Edge DL | 6-6, 242 | 5-Star | June 6, 2021 | Berkeley Prep (Tampa, Fla.)

Peyton Bowen

Safety | 6-0, 185 | 4-Star | Jan. 1 | Guyer (Denton, Texas)

Rico Flores

Wide receiver | 6-1, 190 | 4-Star | July 3 | Folsom (Folsom, Calif.)

Charles Jagusah

Offensive line | 6-6, 308 | 4-Star | June 30 | Alleman (Rock Island, Ill.)

Drayk Bowen

Linebacker | 6-2, 225 | 4-Star | Nov. 3, 2021 | Andrean (Merrillville, Ind.)

Brenan Vernon

Defensive line | 6-5, 275 | 4-Star | June 6 | Mentor (Mentor, Ohio)

Braylon James

Wide receiver | 6-2, 185 | 4-Star | April 19 | Stoney Point (Round Rock, Texas)

Micah Bell

Cornerback | 5-11, 170 | 4-Star | July 1 | The Kinkaid School (Houston, Texas)

Boubacar Traore

Defensive line | 6-5, 235 | 4-Star | April 27 | Catholic Memorial (West Roxbury, Mass.)

Sullivan Absher

Offensive line | 6-7, 290 | 4-Star | May 13 | South Point (Belmont, N.C.)

Devan Houstan

Defensive line | 6-4, 270 | 4-Star | May 7 | St. James School (Sharpsburg, Md.)

Aldon Shuler

Safety | 6-0, 197 | 4-Star | Aug. 15, 2021 | Irvington (Irvington, N.J.)

Cooper Flanagan

Tight end | 6-5, 228 | 4-Star | Sept. 2, 2021 | De La Salle (Concord, Calif.)

Jayden Limar

Running back | 5-11, 190 | 4-Star | May 26 | Lake Stevens (Lake Stevens, Wash.)

Elijah Paige

Offensive line | 6-7, 304 | 4-Star | June 10, 2022 | Pinnacle (Phoenix)

Sam Pendleton

Offensive line | 6-4, 305 | 4-Star | April 25 | Reagan (Pfafftown, N.C.)

Preston Zinter

Linebacker | 6-3, 215 | 3-Star | Feb. 11 | Central Catholic (Lawrence, Mass.)

Joe Otting

Offensive line | 6-4, 275 | 3-Star | June 7 | Hayden (Topeka, Kan.)

Class of 2024

CJ Carr

Quarterback | 6-2, 195 | 5-Star | June 9 | Saline (Saline, Mich.)

Brandon Davis-Swain

Defensive line | 6-4, 240 | 4-Star | April 23 | West Bloomfield (West Bloomfield, Mich)

Cam Williams

Wide receiver | 6-2, 185 | 4-Star | June 29 | Glenbard South (Glen Ellyn, Ill.)

Jack Larsen

Tight end | 6-3, 212 | 4-Star | June 24 | Charlotte Catholic (Charlotte, N.C.)

Owen Wafle

Edge DL | 6-3, 270 | 4-Star | May 16 | Hun School (Princeton, N.J.)