Notre Dame tops non-AQ on NSD

Fighting Irish lead top non-BCS conference recruiting classes

Updated: February 7, 2013, 11:29 AM ET
By RecruitingNation | ESPN.com
Here is a look at the best recruiting classes from teams that are not in BCS conferences.

Grade

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Top prospect: Jaylon Smith. The five-star prospect can run and make plays all over the field. The ceiling is high and he should make a big impact for the Irish.
Breakdown: Notre Dame has had a championship level performance on and off the field this year. In its first top-5 class since 2006, the Irish loaded up on athletes on both sides of the ball, led by five-star outside linebacker Jaylon Smith, one of the country's top players and difference-makers, regardless of position. He will team with ESPN 150 prospect Doug Randolph to form one of the better outside linebacker tandems in the country. The Irish D-line got a big boost when five-star Eddie Vanderdoes, who is No. 10 in the ESPN 150 and the nation's top DT, picked ND late on signing day. The former USC commit has the size (6-foot-3 and 310 pounds) and technique to be a force inside. Notre Dame added ATH Max Redfield, another former USC commit who is No. 23 in the ESPN 150, and he will likely play safety -- a need -- although he is talented enough to produce at wide receiver. The Irish's backfield is shaping up nicely with ESPN 150 running back Greg Bryant, the nation's No. 2 RB, and ESPN 150 athlete Tarean Folston, who's No. 6 nationally at the position, to go along with ESPN 300 quarterback Malik Zaire. Notre Dame has a pair of top 10 offensive tackles to pave the way for that backfield in Colin McGovern and Hunter Bivin.