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Notre Dame Marcus Freeman

Marcus Freeman’s Notre Dame Looks Poised For Future Success

  • Ryan Fowler
  • November 10, 2022
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In Notre Dame’s first campaign post-Brian Kelly, things took a while to get to where new head coach Marcus Freeman is today. While an 11-point loss to Ohio State kicked off the campaign, a Week 2 defeat to Marshall quickly ushered expectations back to earth for one of college football’s most prestigious programs.

For Freeman, the Irish’s defensive coordinator and linebackers coach in 2021, his hiring provided a sense of relief with Kelly on his way to LSU. One of the most successful football programs in the country since Knute Rockne led the charge more than 100 years ago, wearing the gold helmet carries with it expectations only certain individuals can hope to live up to. Currently ranked 20th in the nation and on the heels of a dominant performance of the then-top-five-ranked Clemson Tigers, Freeman has begun to find his footing. Both the immediate and long-term future has flashed in abundance during Notre Dame’s 5-1 run over the last six weeks.

A renowned recruiter whose first prep class ranked seventh in the country per 247 Sports’ Composite Rankings, it’s talents like true freshman Benjamin Morrison who have made the future so darn exciting in South Bend. For Freeman, no matter how good he’s been as a shoulder to lean on or voice to rally around as a coach, his ability to recruit on the high school trail is paramount when scoping the Fighting Irish’s future in competing with the Alabamas, Georgias, and the Ohio States of the world. 

It’s not easy to persuade a 17-year-old to play football in the frigid atmosphere that South Bend can present. However, when you have a leader like Freeman at the helm who understands how to teeter from being a player’s coach and a stoic figure that stands for respect, work ethic, and leadership, you begin to extend the roots of a program that has qualified for the College Football Playoff in the two of the last four campaigns. That foundation extends into the years to come, 

As his 2022 class becomes a year older, the currently ranked No. 3 overall recruiting haul for 2023 enters the fray, topped by a 2024 class currently atop the nation with seven players—led by QB C.J. Carr—who’ve already pledged their allegiance to Freeman. 

Nothing has been perfect—things have, in fact, been far from easy for Marcus Freeman in his first season calling the shots. But of late, and with eyes focused toward the horizon, there’s reason for optimism in Notre Dame returning to CFP contention in the seasons to come.

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Ryan Fowler