Notre Dame ushered in the Brian Kelly era yesterday afternoon, as Kelly described his hiring as the new head coach of The Fighting Irish as a realization of a dream. Kelly also talked about wanting "tough gentlemen" suiting up for Notre Dame.
One of the aspects that will directly affect Ohio State as Kelly builds his program will be the battle for Ohio talent, specifically talent within Ohio parochial programs.
Jim Tressel has been able to keep most of the top talent in Ohio at home to play for the Buckeyes, but has never been able to truly lock down the Cincinnati area for top players. Among the top high school programs in the state are teams such as Cincinnati St. Xavier, Cincinnati Moeller, and Cincinnati Elder. Each of these teams earned berths in the Ohio high school playoff system this past season.
Throw in the fact that Kelly has had developed relationships with coaches in the state of Ohio from his tenure at Cincinnati, and Ohio State fans should be able to see that Jim Tressel's vice grip on Ohio high school talent may have been loosened with Brian Kelly's hiring. The battle for "tough gentlemen" from the state of Ohio may be one to keep an eye on going forward as it relates to Ohio State and Notre Dame.