100% loyal: Notre Dame football recruits look past 0-2 start, pledging to stay together

 Christian Gray was still on Notre Dame's campus when the messages began filling his phone.

A four-star cornerback in Notre Dame's 2023 recruiting class, Gray traveled last month from

 the Saint Louis area for the Irish home opener against Marshall.

 As The Thundering Herd celebrated a historic 26-21 upset,

sending Notre Dame to 0-2 in Marcus Freeman's first season as head coach,

 Gray and many other Notre Dame 2023-24 commitments were met with an Irish fanbase at DEFCON 1.

"Are you going to stay committed," they asked. "Please stay with us," they pleaded.

recalled reading the messages amid the panic and tried to bring some calm by tweeting "100,000,000 percent locked in man."


"I really am," Gray told The South Bend Tribune. "I am really 100,000,000% committed.

Don’t question us after one loss. Everybody loses. Everybody wins.

Shortly after, Drayk Bowen, a four-star linebacker from Andrean High School in nearby Merrillville,

Leaders of the recruiting classes Bowen, rated the 90th overall player in the 2023 class by 247sports Composite,

 has been at the forefront of the Irish class since he committed on Nov. 4, 2021.

It's the role Bowen said Freeman and his staff pushed him to take — the face of the program's 2023 class.

'The reason why we are going there' The goal now for Freeman and the Irish coaching staff is getting this 2023 recruiting class to the finish line,

 with the majority of commits expected to ink commitments during the early signing period on Dec. 22.

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