Notre Dame's Brian Kelly Struggles To Keep Top Talent in South Bend

By Erik Sargent
Everett Golson Brian Kelly Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

There is no denying that Brian Kelly has turned around the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football program that, not too long ago, was the laughing stock of college football. Last season, he brought them back to national prominence with a 12-0 season and an appearance in the national championship game.

So it would seem that everything is rolling smoothly at Notre Dame, right?

Not so much. Last night, there was breaking news that starting quarterback Everett Golson was no longer enrolled at Notre Dame.

This is absolutely shocking news for Irish fans, as Golson led them to their undefeated season last year and was the focal point of Brian Kelly’s offense. Everything was being built around him, only for him to suddenly disappear to apparent academic reasons.

This is just one of many top players to either depart from the program or never actually make it to Notre Dame under Kelly’s tenure.

Top high school recruits who were committed to Notre Dame like five-star receiver Deontay Greenberry suddenly backed out at the last second and switched his commitment to Houston. Players like No. 1-overall cornerback Tee Sheppard enrolled early at Notre Dame, only to depart shortly after.

Top players who actually made it to Notre Dame have mysteriously departed, too. Defensive end Aaron Lynch, who was a Freshman All-American and was absolutely dominant, left the Irish after just one season.

Gunner Kiel, who was part of one of the most bizarre recruiting stories in recent memory and was also the top quarterback recruit on most recruiting sites, left the Irish for Cincinnati after just one season, too.

It might have to do more with the type of people these top players are, but you have to wonder what’s going on in South Bend to have so many players leaving the program. While there is no denying Kelly is one of the top coaches in all of football, maybe his personality might be a little too much for some kids.

Erik Sargent is a columnist for Follow him on Twitter @Erik_Sargent, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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