Notre Dame setting sights on pair of elite 2025 4-star QBs

On3 imageby:Hunter Shelton09/15/23


Bear Bachmeier, Marcus Freeman and Deuce Knight
Bear Bachmeier, Marcus Freeman and Deuce Knight

As Marcus Freeman continues to try and get Notre Dame back to the College Football Playoff, he’s also holding his own on the recruiting trail.

After reeling in the No. 10 recruiting class in the 2023 cycle, the Fighting Irish currently own the No. 15 class in 2024, per the On3 Industry Team Recruiting Ranking. Both of those classes have a top-15 quarterback in their respective cycle.

Current Notre Dame freshman Hendersonville (Tenn.) Pope John Paul four-star Kenny Minchey was the No. 14 passer a cycle ago, while current ND commit Saline (Mich.) four-star CJ Carr is a top-50 prospect and the No. 6 QB in the nation, per the On3 Industry Ranking. With current Heisman contender Sam Hartman under center, the QB position appears to be in good hands in South Bend for the foreseeable future.

But why stop there? The Fighting Irish are already after some of the top gunslingers in the 2025 cycle, with two particular candidates in mind: Lucedale (Miss.) George County four-star Deuce Knight and Murrieta (Calif.) Valley four-star Bear Bachmeier.

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Visits set for both Knight and Bachmeier

Getting either player on campus won’t be a challenge for Freeman and quarterbacks coach Gino Guidugli. Bachmeier will be in town this weekend as the Fighting Irish take on Central Michigan on Saturday, while Knight informed Blue and Gold on Friday that he’ll be in South Bend next weekend for Notre Dame’s huge matchup against Ohio State on Sept. 23.

Bachmeier is making his first trek from California to Indiana, while Knight is returning following previous trips in April and July this year. Both QBs are potential fits for the Irish.

“Bachmeier and Knight are the top two quarterbacks on Notre Dame’s board, and it appears to be a first-come, first-served situation as to which will signal-caller will take the Irish’s spot as the 2025 commit at the position,” Blue and Gold’s Mike Singer wrote. “Knight visiting for the Ohio State game certainly makes an already very interesting situation even more intriguing.”

Knight is the higher-ranked of the two, checking in as the No. 39 overall prospect and No. 3 QB in the 2025 cycle, according to the On3 Industry Ranking, a weighted average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies. Bachmeier isn’t far behind as the No. 111 recruit and No. 9 signal-caller.

Notre Dame trending heavier with Bachmeier

According to the On3 Recruiting Prediction Machine (RPM), Notre Dame has a 94.9% chance to land Bachmeier, who it only recently offered, back on July 18. Despite a recent visit to Oregon and offers from Alabama and Michigan, the Irish are front and center in the 6-foot-2, 205-pounder’s recruitment. Singer logged an RPM pick in favor of Notre Dame on Sept. 11.

“It was a little bit of a surprise,” Bachmeier told Blue and Gold regarding the offer. “I called Coach Guidugli, and we were talking about a plan for me to get up there. He went ahead and pulled the trigger. It was a surprise, but it was awesome.”

The tea leaves are harder to read for Knight. He told On3 in August that he was “not too far away” from a decision and was likely going to make one at some point during the season. Since then, he’s transferred back to Mississippi from Lipscomb Academy in Nashville, where he began his junior year of high school football.

Notre Dame was one of his top 10 schools back in May, alongside some heavy hitters, including Auburn, Georgia, Ole Miss, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas A&M. The Rebels currently have the On3 RPM lead at 41%, while Tennessee and Notre Dame are in second and third at 24.1% and 10.6%, respectively.

Freeman was mentioned as one of the head coaches that’s kept contact during Knight’s recruitment. An impression next weekend against the Buckeyes could go a long way toward the Irish’s chances for the elite QB.

“Location doesn’t matter to me and it is Notre Dame, one of the best in the country on the football and school side,” Knight said. “Notre Dame is an independent program, but they play top teams, they play big games and Notre Dame is still going to play in the college football playoffs. I like Notre Dame because of what they are as a program and because of the people up there. Coach Freeman, Coach Gino Guidugli and Chad Bowen all recruit me and they are great guys.”