Irish must work fast to salvage recruiting

The repercussions of Notre Dame's firing of Tyrone Willingham are already being felt in recruiting.

Originally Published: November 1, 2004
By Tom Lemming | Special to ESPN Insider
Notre Dame's firing of Tyrone Willingham came down in a very short period of time, but the repercussions are already being felt in the recruiting world. Not only will those effects have both short- and long-term implications, but recruiting also played a critical factor in Willingham's dismissal.

Notre Dame's inability to recruit difference makers under Willingham was a big factor in the Irish's inability to succeed on the field. Last year's class proved to be a disaster by Notre Dame standards. While the early projections for this year's class are better, they still don't approach the top-15 range.

As I mentioned earlier, impact players are as important as the overall class. This is the area where Notre Dame has struggled mightily since Vinny Cerrato was the recruiting coordinator for Lou Holtz. The Irish are missing out on the most elite prospects.