3. Marcus Freeman, Notre Dame
Notre Dame hasn’t won a national title since 1988. Marcus Freeman was just two years old when the Irish last won a title. That feels like it was centuries ago for some fans.
But Freeman has brought a fresh outlook to the program.
Brian Kelly seemed to have maxed out Notre Dame’s potential during his tenure, especially in the era of NIL and the playoff. Notre Dame’s academic standards may have also limited his ability to recruit at an elite level, but Freeman isn’t having a problem in that regard — at all. He’s landing top classes and he even brought in a solid group of transfers for 2023.
The biggest addition to next year’s team? Sam Hartman. The Irish finally have a quarterback who can take over games and put the team on his back. Hartman is a prolific passer.
Freeman’s first season with the Irish was a solid test run as he led the program to a spot in the final AP Top 25 after a horrible start and I think he has a clear road to the playoff in 2023.
It’s not going to be easy, but his team is talented enough to get there.