Sources: Notre Dame lures Vols' staffer, former Illini running back to offensive staff

Notre Dame is a program coming off two College Football Playoffs berths in four seasons, pouring fresh resources into its football recruiting and analytical departments - and plucking a key young hire from a troubled Southeastern Conference program in the process.
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Notre Dame is bolstering its recruiting department, augmenting its offensive staff – and striking a blow to the University of Tennessee's staff all in the process.

Multiple sources on Wednesday told FootballScoop that the Fighting Irish are adding Dre Brown, a former University of Illinois running back and most recently the Volunteers' Director of Recruiting, in an offensive analyst/recruiting-centric role within the Notre Dame football program.

It's part of an overall offseason enhancement for the Fighting Irish's recruiting and analytical efforts under veteran coach Brian Kelly, who's twice in the past four seasons guided Notre Dame into the College Football Playoffs and also lured the unquestioned top defensive coordinator de facto free agent – Marcus Freeman – to the Fighting Irish program earlier this year.

Notre Dame previously, upon adding Freeman to replace Clark Lea after Lea was named Vanderbilt's head coach, also fortified its recruiting operations with the addition of Chad Bowden. Bowden had been a key cog in the recruiting operations of the Cincinnati Bearcats before he transitioned to the Fighting Irish alongside Freeman.

Brown, a former offensive team MVP at Illinois who rushed for nearly 600 yards and five touchdowns during his senior season with the Illini, had a previous relationship with current Vols' offensive coordinator Alex Golesh that factored heavily into Brown's addition to Josh Heupel's first Tennessee staff. Brown had joined the staff on Rocky Top earlier this spring.

However, Notre Dame – with Kelly bearing down on Knute Rockne's all-time wins record at the renowned program and perennially in the national scope – potentially affords Brown an accelerated path along his coaching career; Brown is transitioning into coaching after briefly working in private business upon his graduation from Illinois.