Notre Dame picked up a big commitment this weekend when it landed West Des Moines (Iowa) Valley tight end Eli Raridon. You can read all about Raridon’s commitment HERE, but now it’s time to focus on what’s next at the position.
ONE MORE FOR 2022
Notre Dame decided some time ago that it wanted two tight ends in the 2022 class, and with Jack Nickel decommitting last month there is still room for one more tight end prospect in this class.
There is no doubt who Notre Dame wants to pair with Raridon; that would be Atlanta (Ga.) Westminster standout Holden Staes.
A 6-4, 230-pound consensus four-star prospect, Staes would be a great complement to Raridon. The great part about pairing those two together is both project as all-around tight ends, but they also have distinct skillsets. Playing two tight ends with the same skillset can certainly work, but the ideal scenario is to have two players that complement each other, and that's exactly what Notre Dame would get if it was able to land both Staes and Raridon.
Raridon projects more as an outside-in tight end while Staes projects more as an inside-out player.
Notre Dame has put itself in great position with Staes, and if I had to make a prediction I'd feel confident in projecting Notre Dame to ultimately land both players.
EARLY START ON 2023
With two tight ends in the 2020, 2021 and hopefully the 2022 class there certainly isn't a need for two more in the 2023 class. With Raridon now in the fold the Irish staff can put a lot more emphasis on getting Staes to go public, and it can focus more and more on 2023 tight ends.
Assuming no one transfers, should Notre Dame land Staes to go with Raridon the staff could actually get away with not taking a tight end in the 2023 class. What that means is Notre Dame can focus solely on adding high impact prospects. Notre Dame must focus on elite tight ends, either higher-floor players that tend to rank as high-level recruits, or a lower-ranked player with a very high ceiling.
Notre Dame has currently offered three tight ends in the 2023 class: Jaxon Howard, Mac Markway, Duce Robinson. Those three prospects rank as the No. 53, 59 and 76 players in the country respectively according to 247Sports.
Notre Dame will also likely continue scouring for the best prospect and the best fit at the position, and now with Raridon in the fold and the Irish in great shape with Staes, that should become the number one priority for position coach John McNulty.
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