Who left the ND program with less to work with upon being laid off, Weis or Willingham? In other words, will Kelly have more talent next year, or did Weis have more talent his first year?
spoiler alert: i linked this
and has left Kelly with more talent than Ty left Charlie. Although Ty had some pretty decent players, he wasn't consistently pulling in top 5 classes.
were with Willingham's players. Charlie started decent and went downhill in the final three years. Kelly seems to do well with whatever he inherits, so that might skew the stats, but after all the juniors and seniors go to the NFL, Kelly might have his hands full for a year or so.
is that Ty's players were somewhat coached up, whereas Charlie's....Not so much.
Enough said. Throw in Christ, Teo, Rudolph and Weis is leaving the cupboard full. From 2006-2009 Weis brought in 7 5 stars and 47 4 stars. With Martin's decommitment ND loses its one 5 star in the upcoming class, but there are still 9 4 stars on board if Kelly can keep them.
2003-2005 ND brought in 1 5 star and 10 four stars in 2004 ND took 6 2 stars. I think there is no doubt who left the following coach more talent. Nothing against Willingham, but he went to Washington after and look where they are. Sarkisian has really picked up the recruiting there this year. Why Ty and his staff had problems recruiting is anyone's guess.
The star ratings come from Rivals in case anyone is wondering.
nothing against Willingham, What? Everything against Willingham LOL
if stating the truth is holding something against Willingham then so be it. Some coaches just aren't cut out to be HCs. I believe Greg Robinson may be in the same boat, but I'm happy to have him as a D Coordinator. Though Syracuse is a much tougher place to recruit then ND.
Oh man where to begin....
The truth? The truth is Willingham spent more time on the golf course than recruiting, even postponing a recruits visit because the mornings 18 took longer than normal. Or how about the time he visited a recruit and said he wouldn't leave his house until he committed to ND; he did eventually leave after quite a few hours and without a commitment if your wondering. Since you brought up UW its not very often a coach is able to take a 3 win team and leave them worse than when you started, man the truth, is pathetic.
Christ is only a fan, or so I hear.
Crist will start at QB if he gets back from ACL reconstruction in time.
Weis left far more guru-approved talent than Willingham, though it remains to be seen if that talent will work with Kelly's system and his approach. My guess is that there will be some rough patches along the way, but ND's early success will depend on how that defense plays - if it plays like the 5* and 4*-laden group that it is, then watch out. They couldn't do it under Weis, though, and Kelly is not known as a defensive guru.
Using Michigan as an example, I'd say that it looks like position depth and level of player development is much, much more important than recruiting rankings when it comes to a new coach/system moving into a program.
I have no idea what the specifics are in terms of depth in ND's case (except for QB which looks like trouble), but just looking at what Weis didn't accomplish with the players he had, it looks like Kelly might have a little more work to do than Weis did with the player development.
It is worth noting that most of Charlie's recruits were on offense. ND has only had 20 Defensive recruits the last 3 years combined including 5 in '07 and 5 in '09.
It will be interesting to see what kind of defense they will have with that small a number of recruits (read: No Depth) on that side of the ball.
40% of Weis's recruiting classes were on defense and the team is balanced at 41 offensive players and 42 defensive players so not much to complain about
According to Rivals for those 3 years ND had 59 recruits and only 20 on defense. That's ~34%.
I don't know much about their current roster status but those numbers are highly skewed toward the offense.
ND's two best players (Jimmy and Golden) are headed to the NFL while when Weis took over he had a stud QB and a solid defense.
Weis replaced graduating players, and very well I will add. By looking at only 3 recruiting seasons your coming to a less informed conclusion, which is that Weis focused on one side of the ball. When he was actually filling the holes on the team, which you can see by a balance in offensive and defensive players.
ND defense looks really weak. The offense has some skilled players, minus the QB. It will be interesting if Kelley's coaches can improve the defense. I hope they can't until after we play them!!!
I think there's little doubt that top to bottom Weis is leaving ND better than Willingham did. Weis was fortunate to inherit a team that had skill players on the upswing but his freshmen and Sophomore class were weak. I believe he could have mitigated the damage but in his first 2 season he ran his team like an NFL team--ignoring player development and talking primarily to his QB.
Kelly inherits a team with raw skill players but good depth at most positions. His early success will depend upon how quickly Crist can get up to speed and the D coordinator. If ND can't harness their talent on D then Crist will have to hit the ground running.
Star ratings aren't everything. Look at what bowls Willingham's classes went to versus those that Fat Charlie's went to. There is an argument that Willingham left Weis more to work with than Weis left Kelly.
Let me add that ND fans are super defensive about this. I've never heard one of them offer a positive comment about Willingham. It's all Ty's fault that Weis did poorly in 2007 and 2008 and that he couldn't win any big games, overlooking the fact that the relatively good ND seasons came in 2005 and 2006 with Ty's players and the awful ones came when Weis's players were juniors and seniors.
Nit: when ND was ultra terrible in 2007, the upper classmen were Willingham guys and Weis' first and second classes were frosh and sophs that year.
I think Weis' failure as a coach was having 3 first round-ish picks at WR and QB and somehow never winning more than 7 games with them. Impressive.
Depth-wise, Weis leaves Kelly better off without a doubt. However, Willingham arguably left more top-end talent, with Quinn, Samardzija, McKnight, Fasano, Carlson, and Walker at the skill positions. Defense-wise, it's pretty even IME, though I don't think Weis had anyone of Te'o's caliber when he started.
Kelly may inherit Te'o but I'm relatively certain that Weis had more than 5 seniors on his defense his first year.
Willingham left a BCS team. Weis talked to two best players into going pro, you can't tell me he wasn't trying to stick it to them a little. Only time will tell, but I think Willingham left a better team.
I think it should be who left more for the next coach. The players available never really seemed to be the problem.
A better QB in place. What we've learned around here the last 2 years is a solid QB is everything. Also Christ is hurt and that won't help get them up to speed this year. We may be fortunate to be playing them early on.
ND will have trouble replacing the OL and may get some transfers due to the coaching change. I am really not convinced that the current DL can become dominant. Loosing Martin really hurts them.
That being said, once Kelly gets his system in place, ND will be a big problem.
Weis left more talent but Willingham left more fundamentally sound players. I feel like that tends to be the Willingham effect looking at how much both Washington and Notre Dame improved as soon as he was gone.
Willingham can teach fundamentals, but has problems with schemes and game day coaching. Which seems to the exact opposite of Weis except for his occasional gaffe trying to outsmart himself on game day.
In Weis' 2 good years a lot of the better players were actually Davie recruits.
Kelly is in very good shape. The defense returns everyone next year except (i think) the safties so its not like they are hurting for depth.
If they are lacking depth anywhere it is definitely qb. That could be a problem for them.