Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss 5-star QB CJ Carr, grandson of legendary Michigan coach Lloyd Carr, and his likely decision to attend Notre Dame, and debate if Notre Dame is now recruiting at the level of the nation’s top programs.
DAN WETZEL: CJ Carr, who is a class of 2024-- so he's going to be a junior. He could reclassify. One of the top quarterback recruits. His grandfather Lloyd was head coach at Michigan for, I think, 13 seasons.
Won the only national championship there since the '40s. His dad played at Michigan. And he's a-- lives basically in a suburb of Ann Arbor. However, every prognosticator, who prognosticates is sending CJ Carr to Notre Dame on Thursday.
PAT FORDE: Interesting.
DAN WETZEL: So the Fighting Irish in Marcus Freeman will land what will likely be, if he's as good as he looks, so far a five-star quarterback for the first time since Jimmy Clausen. Marcus Freeman's been on the job six months. This would be the 18th commitment he has landed. All 18 would be either four or five stars.
PAT FORDE: Wow.
DAN WETZEL: Like, this is getting really impressive. And I didn't think they'd start recruiting at a level that literally, if they could keep it up-- and we'll see-- puts them in the Alabama, Georgia, Clemson talent, at least close, at least Ohio State talent. If you're doing this, this is what you need to do for three years. And you can win a national championship or at least compete-- you can win playoff games.
PAT FORDE: Yeah. No, this is exactly it. You get the building blocks. And yeah, I mean, Marcus Freeman is off to just an electrifying start in that area. And I guess the one thing they haven't gotten yet is that linchpin superstar QB. And there's still-- obviously, there's some ifs here.
First of all, he has to-- CJ Carr has to actually commit on Thursday. But everybody seems to think that's going to happen. Secondly, does he stay in 2024? Or does he reclassify? I'm never a huge fan of rushing quarterbacks forward in terms of their development. But if you get him, that's huge.
We've talked about Notre Dame and another quarterback from the state of Michigan. So that could change the calculus there. Correct?
DAN WETZEL: Dantian Moore is in the class of 2023. He is a top 10 recruit and one of the top quarterbacks from Detroit. And he has been linked heavily with Notre Dame. There's also Julian Sayin from California, who is in the class of 2024, who is ranked higher than CJ Carr, just a little, who has been heavily involved with Notre Dame also. So you have these three quarterbacks. And the question is, are all three coming now? Unlikely.
PAT FORDE: Right.
DAN WETZEL: OK? But could Dante Moore still come with CJ Carr? Maybe, if CJ reclassifies. Is Julian Sayin still come? Maybe. I don't know. We'll see. To me, for Notre Dame, this is like-- this is the sign of strength, though. Because this is what Georgia does. And it's like, we got four of you guys here. Which one wants to come?
PAT FORDE: Right, yeah.
DAN WETZEL: It's not pinning everything on this one recruit, that we have this one link to. And hopefully, we get this guy. There's no plan B because they're all playing A.
PAT FORDE: Yeah, exactly.
DAN WETZEL: So this is a good sign for Notre Dame. Like, Notre Dame signed lots of good players and did really, really well the last six, seven years. But from 2015 to 2021, rivals-- we're just using rivals five stars, OK? Alabama signed 31. Georgia signed 25. Clemson signed 24. Notre Dame signed 3.
PAT FORDE: Woo, yeah. Well, there's the difference, right? That turns to be national champion and can make the playoff and get trucked by an eventual national champ.
DAN WETZEL: Right, you just don't stand a chance. This is a continuation of, I think, an unexpected level of success for Notre Dame. This isn't Notre Dame hype. This is real stuff. They just walked in. They very well may walk into Michigan and take Lloyd Carr's grandson.
PAT FORDE: Peyton Manning certainly didn't go to Ole Miss because the family was-- you know, because Archie went there and his older brother went there. You can find many other examples. You don't have to do that. It's your decision, do what you want, and make a good decision. But it is an eye opener when these sort of things happen, for sure.