Top Five Class? Notre Dame Football Improves Recruiting Rankings Position With Burnham Commitment
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Top 5 Class? Notre Dame Improves Rankings Position With Burnham Commitment

When Traverse City (Mich.) Central inside linebacker Joshua Burnham announced his pledge to the Fighting Irish on Wednesday, Notre Dame moved past Oklahoma in the Rivals team recruiting rankings.

National Signing Day for the 2022 class is nine months away, and there will be plenty of movement in the Rivals recruiting rankings from now until then. Notre Dame could finish in the top five or slide down to the teens. There is no telling the future.

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Notre Dame Fighting Irish football head coach Brian Kelly
Is 2022 the recruiting cycle when Brian Kelly and Notre Dame’s class finishes in Rivals' top five? (Blue & Gold Illustrated)

Notre Dame went into St. Patrick’s Day with the No. 5 class per Rivals and 1,059 total points per the Rivals formula. As a recruit with a 5.9 four-star recruit ranking and bonus points added for being the nation’s No. 141 overall player, Burnham added 144 points to the Irish’s total, moving them past the Sooners for the No. 4 position.

Ohio State, LSU and Georgia are the three teams ahead of Notre Dame in the rankings, respectively. For comparison’s sake, the Buckeyes’ class has 1,861 total points with its 11 commitments, while the Irish have an equal number of verbal pledges but 1,203 points.

The Buckeyes and Fighting Irish are tied with the most number of commitments in the entire country.

When looking at the current Rivals top 10 classes, Notre Dame’s average star ranking per recruit of 3.73 is only ahead Florida State (No. 8, 3.71) and Michigan (No. 10, 3.71). As hot as Notre Dame has been on the recruiting front, it will be difficult to sustain a top five class.

For more details on the Rivals rankings formula, click here.

Burnham’s recruitment came down to Michigan, Notre Dame and Wisconsin, and he also held offers from Alabama, Michigan State, Nebraska and Ohio State. He had an offer from Cincinnati when Freeman was with the Bearcats too.

The 6-3, 200-pounder received his scholarship offer from Notre Dame on June 25, 2020. A lot of credit goes to Lezynski for laying the groundwork in this recruitment for several months. Burnham was the top target at linebacker for the Fighting Irish.

“He’s the No. 1 linebacker prospect in Michigan and one of the nation’s finest,” Prep Football Report recruiting analyst Tom Lemming said. “Speed is a big part of his game as is his high football IQ.”

2022 Rivals Top 10 Team Rankings (as of Feb. 22, 2021)
Team Commits Total Points

1. Ohio State

11

1,861

2. LSU

10

1,323

3. Georgia

8

1,274

4. Notre Dame

11

1,203

5. Oklahoma

7

1,063

6. Texas A&M

8

1,003

7. Penn State

8

941

8. Florida State

7

822

9. Texas

6

821

10. Michigan

7

741

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