23 players commit to playing for Notre Dame

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By Jillian Mahen

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The Notre Dame football program took its first step towards the 2013 season on Wednesday. 23 high school football players from 15 different states officially committed to play for the Fighting Irish.

It’s the fourth best recruiting class in the country, but Head Coach Brian Kelly and his staff believe it's the best yet in the Kelly era at Notre Dame.

The future is bright for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

"For us, taking that next step forward is to continue to build our football program within and developing football players, so when they get back on that field in 2013, we finish it. We finish it off,” said Coach Kelly.

Among the 23 new recruits, ten are listed on ESPN's top 300.

Indiana native, Jaylon Smith is at the top of the Irish class- coming in at number 7 in the country.

With so much new talent, the Irish are building some much needed depth.

"We played the National Championship game under 85 scholarships. We did not have 85 scholarship players at that time. We had some depth issues and I think we've addressed those depth issues across the board in year three,” said Kelly.

Notre dame added eight skill players, seven power players and seven big skill players- hopefully filling a few holes left by some dominant seniors.

"The running back position would be one where there should be some young players competing there. The safety position, there should be some young guys competing at that. But, every time that I make that call, it comes from somewhere else,” said Kelly.

But there are a few areas where Coach Kelly sees room for improvement.

"I think the O-line and D-line will be an area that we'll continue to work towards,” said Kelly.

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