Reasons why Marcus Freeman is the right choice for Notre Dame

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It has yet to become official but it seems like on Friday the Irish will announce defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman as the successor to Brian Kelly. In my estimation, this is a home run hire, dating back to when Kelly sniped Freeman from Cincinnati. There has been major chances to the program and the future looks insanely bright. Here are reasons why I believe Freeman is absolutely the correct choice for the Irish.

His youth

FILE – in this May 1, 2021, file photo, Notre Dame defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman watches during the Blue-Gold NCAA spring football game in South Bend, Ind. As Notre Dame linebacker Drew White ran into the Wisconsin end zone for the second Irish pick-six in two minutes, the identity of defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman’s unit had never been clearer. On full display at Soldier Field on Saturday was the lauded defense that has garnered so much praise from Freeman’s players since he was hired in January. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin, File)

Freeman is just 35 years old, in coaching ages he’s just in the infancy of his career. Alabama’s Nick Saban is contending for championships at 70, winning his first one at 52. I would be willing to bet Freeman beats him there, especially with where the Notre Dame program is right now. We could be on the verge of an era of Irish football that could rival some of the greatest dynasties in college football history. (Yes, I might be getting ahead of myself a bit, but it’s entirely possible.)

Recruiting

Marcus Freeman
Marcus Freeman

Oct. 2, 2021; South Bend, Indiana; Notre Dame Fighting Irish Defensive Coordinator Marcus Freeman enters Notre Dame Stadium before the game against the Cincinnati Bearcats. Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Have you noticed the Irish have had an uptick in recruiting since Freeman arrived less than a year ago? I surely have and I don’t think it’s a coincidence at all, it’s the former Ohio State’s star’s influence. He’s played for the best team in the Midwest, understands what a championship roster looks like and it all starts with recruiting. I fully expect that Freeman will have recruiting classes ranked annually inside the Top-5 in the country.

Players back him

It’s something that AD Jack Swarbrick mentioned during his press conference on Tuesday, that the players are the base of the Irish program, not any coach. When you see players going out on social media and backing up Freeman, that tells you a lot. They want to play for him, they will give him everything they have. It’s extremely encouraging.

The Midwest is up for grabs

Michigan running back Hassan Haskins (25) scores a touchdown against Ohio State during the first half at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021.

With Michigan finally upending Ohio State, is there a power balance shifting in the Midwest? Yes, the Wolverines are inside the Top-4 of the College Football Playoff but this is the first time in this era they have. The Buckeyes have issues on defense and for the first time in years look vulnerable. The Irish have made the CFP two of the last three years and might sneak in once again. Freeman could be the catalyst for a major shift of power in the Northern part of the country.

Keeping it in the family

Sep 11, 2021; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish Offensive Coordinator Tommy Rees enters Notre Dame Stadium before the game against the Toledo Rockets. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Freeman didn’t go to Notre Dame, isn’t from Indiana but he is now part of the Irish family and that goes a long way. Swarbrick showing loyalty to the program will go a long way, it already has. Offensive coordinator Tommy Rees, defensive guru Mike Elston, running backs coach Lance Taylor and strength coach Matt Balis have already announced they will stay in South Bend. The Irish family is strong and will continue to stay strong.

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