Notre Dame signed 21 players during the Early Signing Period, including several who could make an immediate impact next season.

The Fighting Irish’s class ranks No. 7 in the country, according to 247Sports Composite rankings. That’s the nation’s top class amongst programs that went through a coaching change this offseason.

Here’s a look at a few players who could contribute early in their Notre Dame careers.

5-star LB Jaylen Sneed

Sneed is the type of talent that Notre Dame won’t be able to keep off the field. He’s the caliber of player that Marcus Freeman is hoping to consistently bring to South Bend year after year. While the Fighting Irish have capable options at linebacker going into 2022, expect Sneed to find a way to contribute — either as a depth option or as someone who can step in when injuries occur.

4-star WR Tobias Merriweather

Receiver is a much less-clear position for Notre Dame, which creates a big opportunity for Merriweather. In 2021, Notre Dame’s two most prolific pass catchers were a tight end and a running back. Kevin Austin led the team in yards with 784, but it’s unclear if he’ll be back next season or not. The Fighting Irish need to get back to having a 1,000-yard receiver — something they haven’t produced since Chase Claypool in 2019.

2-star P Bryce McFerson

This is a matter of opportunity. Incumbent punter Jay Bramblett is expected to transfer from Notre Dame this offseason, so the Fighting Irish pivoted in bringing in Bryce McFerson. While he’s a 2-star prospect on 247Sports, Kohl’s Kicking has him ranked as the No. 2 punter in the class of 2022. It will be his job to lose if Bramblett does decide to move on.