Online Now 1871

Tale Of The Tape: ND Vs. Bama/UGA

Notre Dame has punched its ticket for the BCS National Championship game on Jan. 7, capping off an undefeated season with a win over USC on Saturday. The Irish wait on the winner of next Saturday’s Alabama/Georgia game to find out which SEC opponent they’ll face for all the marbles.

Can Everett Golson's athleticism lead ND to a national championship?

The SEC has won every BCS National Championship game going back to the first one played in 2006. Does Notre Dame have a chance to change that trend?

We take a look at the recruiting tale of the tape, comparing Notre Dame’s roster to the ones at Alabama and Georgia. We used SEC offers as the barometer. (Data was found using the databases at 247Sports and Rivals.)

Quarterbacks
Everett Golson, Sophomore: Was not offered by Alabama or Georgia, but had scholarships from Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Tommy Rees, Junior: Was not offered by Alabama or Georgia but had a scholarship from Tennessee.

Andrew Hendrix, Junior: Was not offered by Alabama or Georgia but had scholarships from Florida, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.

Running Backs
Theo Riddick, Senior: Did not have any SEC offers.

Cierre Wood, Senior: Was not offered by Alabama and Georgia but had scholarships from Auburn and Florida.

George Atkinson III, Sophomore: Had an offer from Alabama but did not have an offer from Georgia.

With freshman QB Gunner Kiel not expected to play, Irish junior WR T.J. Jones is the only ND player to of had an offer coming out of high school from both Alabama and Georgia.

Wide Receivers
T.J. Jones, Junior: Had offers from Alabama and Georgia.

Davaris Daniels: Was not offered by Alabama or Georgia but had a scholarship from Arkansas.

Chris Brown, Freshman: Was not offered by Alabama or Georgia but had scholarships from Arkansas, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and South Carolina.

Robby Toma, Senior: Did not have any SEC offers.

Davonte Neal, Freshman: Was not offered by Alabama or Georgia but had scholarships from Arkansas, Auburn, LSU and Texas A&M.

John Goodman, Fifth-year senior: Was not offered by Alabama or Georgia, was offered by Kentucky.

Daniel Smith, Junior: Did not have any SEC offers

Offensive Line
Zack Martin, Senior: Was not offered by Alabama or Georgia, was offered by Kentucky.

Chris Watt, Senior: Did not have any SEC offers

Braxston Cave, Fifth-year senior: Did not have any SEC offers

Mike Golic Jr., Fifth-year senior: Did not have any SEC offers

Christian Lombard, Junior: Did not have any SEC offers

Ronnie Stanley, Freshman: Was not offered by Alabama or Georgia but had scholarships from Arkansas and Auburn.

Conor Hanratty, Sophomore: Did not have any SEC offers

Bruce Heggie, Junior: Did not have any SEC offers

Nick Martin, Sophomore: Was not offered by Alabama or Georgia, was offered by Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Tight End
Tyler Eifert, Senior: Was not offered by Alabama or Georgia but had a scholarship from Vanderbilt.

Ben Koyack, Sophomore: Was not offered by Alabama or Georgia but had scholarships from LSU and South Carolina.

Troy Niklas, Sophomore: Was not offered by Alabama or Georgia but had scholarships from Florida and Tennessee.

Defensive Line
Kapron Lewis-Moore, Fifth-year senior: Was not offered by Alabama or Georgia but had a scholarship from Texas A&M.

Louis Nix, Junior: Was not offered by Alabama or Georgia but had scholarships from Florida, Ole Miss and South Carolina.

Stephon Tuitt, Sophomore: Had an offer from Georgia but did not have an offer from Alabama. Also had scholarships from Auburn, Florida, LSU, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.

Sheldon Day, Freshman: Was not offered by Alabama or Georgia but had scholarships from Arkansas, Florida, LSU, Missouri and Tennessee.

Kona Schwenke, Junior: Did not have any SEC offers.

Tony Springmann, Sophomore: Did not have any SEC offers.

Linebacker
Manti Te’o, Senior: Was not offered by Alabama or Georgia but had a scholarship from Tennessee.

Prince Shembo, Junior: Was not offered by Alabama or Georgia but had a scholarship from Tennessee.

Dan Fox, Senior: Was not offered by Alabama or Georgia but had a scholarship from Vanderbilt.

Danny Spond, Junior: Did not have any SEC offers.

Ishaq Williams, Sophomore: Had an offer from Alabama but did not have an offer from Georgia. Also had scholarships from Florida and South Carolina.

Carlo Calabrese, Senior: Was not offered by Alabama or Georgia, but had a scholarship from Florida.

Jarrett Grace, Sophomore: Had an offer from Alabama but did not have an offer from Georgia. Also had scholarships from Kentucky, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.

Kendall Moore, Junior: Was not offered by Alabama or Georgia, but had scholarships from Kentucky, Mississippi State and South Carolina.

Ben Councell, Sophomore: Was not offered by Alabama or Georgia, but had scholarships from Auburn, South Carolina and Vanderbilt.

Anthony Rabasa, Sophomore: Was not offered by Alabama or Georgia, but had scholarships from Florida, LSU, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Romeo Okwara, Freshman: Was not offered by Alabama or Georgia, but had a scholarship from Vanderbilt.

Defensive Back
Bennett Jackson, Junior: Did not have any SEC offers.

KeiVarae Russell, Freshman: Did not have any SEC offers.

Zeke Motta, Senior: Was not offered by Alabama or Georgia, but had scholarships from Auburn and Florida.

Matthias Farley, Sophomore: Did not have any SEC offers.

Josh Atkinson, Sophomore: Did not have any SEC offers.

Elijah Shumate, Freshman: Was offered by Georgia but was not offered by Alabama. Also had an offer from South Carolina.

Jalen Brown, Sophomore: Was not offered by Alabama or Georgia but had a scholarship from Texas A&M.

Nicky Baratti, Freshman: Was not offered by Alabama or Georgia but had a scholarship from Mississippi State.

Specialists
Kyle Brindza, Sophomore: Did not have any SEC offers.

Ben Turk, Senior: Did not have any SEC offers.

Notre Dame vs. Alabama/Georgia By The Recruiting Numbers

-Of the 52 players listed, 34 had at least one scholarship opportunity with the SEC. Of those 34, only five were offered by Alabama and three by Georgia. Junior receiver T.J. Jones, who was an Under Armour All-American coming out of high school, was offered by both.

-With the above numbers being said, the SEC doesn’t typically recruit outside of the Southeast because quite frankly they don’t have to. Many of Notre Dame’s players did hold offers from the likes of Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Stanford and USC.

-Manti Te’o only having one SEC offer was maybe the most interesting find. However, Tennessee is the only program to typically recruit the state of Hawaii. Te’o was ranked by the 247Composite as the nation’s No. 1 inside linebacker and No. 4 prospect overall in the class-of-2009, and certainly would have had any scholarship he would’ve wanted had he shown interest in say Alabama or Georgia.

-Looking at the 247Composite recruiting rankings going back to 2008 (which touches fifth-year seniors currently on the rosters for the Irish, Crimson Tide and Bulldogs). In 2008, Notre Dame ranked No. 3, Georgia ranked No. 10 and Alabama ranked No. 11. In 2009, Alabama ranked No. 1, Georgia was No. 16 and Notre Dame was No. 22. In 2010, Alabama ranked No. 4, Georgia was No. 11 and Notre Dame was No. 17. In 2011, Alabama ranked No. 1, Georgia was No. 6 and Notre Dame was No. 9. In 2012, Alabama ranked No. 1, Georgia was No. 5 and Notre Dame was No. 12.

-Another thing to keep in mind is some of these Notre Dame prospects committed early before they may have landed an SEC offer down the road.

-Notre Dame freshman quarterback Gunner Kiel was offered by both Alabama and Georgia, however he has not played this season and is not expected to play in the championship game.

247Sports National Analysts Chime In

College football isn’t all about recruiting the highest-ranked prospects as much as it is in landing the top kids that fit your program and scheme and then developing a player over the years they’re in your program. All three head coaches have proven track records in this regard.

-JC Shurburtt, National Recruiting Director
"I think defensive personnel-wise, Notre Dame has the look of an SEC team. Do they have as much quality depth as say Alabama on that side of the ball? I don't think anybody in the country does. That being said, in the era of garnering much media hype by putting up big numbers against defenses that have quit in many of the non-SEC leagues, Notre Dame and head coach Brian Kelly put together a group that most closely resembles that of the nation's most dominant league. I think because of the talent on defense that they have, they will match up just fine with either Alabama or UGA. The match-up with UGA would probably be more favorable simply because you have a team in Bama that has been there before and has more players that have been put in that position (a BCS title game)."

-Gerry Hamilton, National Recruiting Analyst
“I think defensively Notre Dame is not good, but a legitimate borderline great college defense. I think they match up well defensively with anyone they play. I think they matchup better if you’re looking at a potential game with Georgia than they do with Alabama from that standpoint because Georgia is less experienced in the offensive line and Notre Dame’s experience is in the front seven and it’s the strength of their team. I think Alabama could do a better job of minimizing Notre Dame’s strength as a defense. I think talent-wise Notre Dame matches up defensively with anybody. You look at what Theo Riddick does offensively and how Notre Dame uses him, he can be an effective player against anyone they play because he can make plays in the running game and passing game, and does a lot of things to put pressure on a defense. Everett Golson being an athletic quarterback and can make plays out of the pocket, he’s invaluable against any defense. You look at Golson versus Georgia, keeping Jarvis Jones off your quarterback is a big part of playing against Georgia. Golson being athletic and can move, he has a better chance to do that. When you look at Alabama, offensively I think they have a better chance to run the football against Notre Dame than Georgia, and that’s more because their offensive line being better than Georgia’s and having a more experienced downhill powerback in Eddie Lacy who’s been there before. One thing about Alabama is they’re not as freakish athletically at linebacker as they were the past three seasons. They’re younger at safety than they were on the two National Championship teams. Alabama is more getable on the defensive side than they have in the last two or three years.”

-Barton Simmons, National Recruiting Analyst
“My take is, I think Notre Dame with regards to their talent stacks up much more favorably to Alabama and Georgia than people realize. A lot of that is they’ve recruited well since Brian Kelly got there on the defensive side of the ball, particularly in that front seven. There is guys from SEC country like Stephon Tuitt and Louis Nix that can control the line of scrimmage and run in the trenches similar to the way SEC athletes have been able to dominate on the big stage. Offensively it will be more of a challenge for Notre Dame, but I think with an athletic quarterback and with a running back by committee approach, and an experienced o-line, I don’t see this team getting bullied around. I think it's a team put together by players tough enough to fight back. It’s a team with a tougheness to compete offensively, which is much more important in those SEC battles than say having speed on the perimeter."

Already have an account? Sign In