How 4-star QB Blake Barnett's Decommitment Affects Notre Dame
The face value of a decommitment is never good but how much, if at all, does this affect the Fighting Irish?
Most coaches will say they like to get a quarterback in every class. It provides a safety net in the cases of injuries, poor performances, transfers, etc. Brian Kelly is one such coach who likes to take a QB in every class but with his recent success in landing good quarterbacks in every class, it can also be problematic.
A recruit wants to go to a program that is competitive and comfortable but also should want to go somewhere he feels he will have an opportunity to stand out and make an impact.
Remember Gunner Kiel? He redshirted during the 2012 national championship game run but then felt like he saw the writing on the wall that he would spend the next several years sitting behind Everett Golson and decided to transfer. Golson will be a junior and theoretically could be the quarterback through 2015.
Malik Zaire is behind him and only a redshirt freshman. If he uses all his eligibility, he could be the quarterback through 2017. Behind him is Deshone Kizer, another player to keep an eye on who could potentially play through 2018.
So even if Blake Barnett really likes Notre Dame, he is looking at a lot of stiff competition to get on the field.
That being said, the flipside to Notre Dame having this current stable of quarterbacks means that it really doesn't need to work hard to grab one in this recruiting cycle. Quite frankly, I was surprised Barnett committed in the first place, looking at the QB situation.
I would expect Notre Dame to try to still land a prospect this cycle but maybe not as the quarterback of the future. It’s always necessary to have depth and I am sure there are capable quarterbacks who would still love to come to Notre Dame, knowing they will spend four years on the bench, rather than potentially start at a school from the MAC or Sun Belt conferences.
Expect the quarterback position to be one of the highest priorities next cycle however as the Irish are stacked enough to skip a year but skipping two years would put them in a dangerously thin position.