Elite 2022 linebacker Jaylen Sneed is announcing his college destination this evening, and despite a long list of impressive offers his decision will come down to Notre Dame and Oregon.
Irish Breakdown publisher Bryan Driskell and Ducks Digest publisher Max Torres break down where both schools stand with Sneed heading into his announcement, and both make their final predictions.
BRYAN DRISKELL, IRISH BREAKDOWN
Prior to defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman being hired in January the Irish weren't even on the radar with Sneed. A consensus Top 100 recruit, Sneed didn't get an offer from Notre Dame until mid-January.
Notre Dame quickly rose up his list and quickly became a legitimate contender for the 6-2, 210-pound linebacker. Sneed made an unofficial visit to Notre Dame in March, taking himself on a self-guided tour of the campus. From that point on Notre Dame became the leader for his services.
For some time it looked as though Sneed to Notre Dame was a lock, but a June visit to Oregon shook his recruitment up in a major way. It was the first time in quite awhile that Notre Dame was put on the defensive in his recruitment, and the Ducks staff did a tremendous job impressing Sneed, who has stated he grew up an Oregon fan.
Sneed visited Notre Dame over a week after his visit to Eugene, and it could not have gone any better for the Irish. Heading into his announcement tonight there is a great deal of confidence that by the end of the day the Irish will have a linebacker haul that no other program will be able to touch in the 2022 class. Oregon did a tremendous job recruiting Sneed, but I just don't see Freeman and ND losing this one.
Prediction: Notre Dame
MAX TORRES, DUCKS DIGEST
Sneed was one of the first visitors Oregon brought in for an official visit to open the month of June and when I spoke with him he had nothing but positive things to say about the trip. It’s obvious he had serious interest in the Ducks before the visit, and the trip only served to make Oregon even more of a contender in his recruitment — ultimately leading to a one-on-one battle against Notre Dame.
New defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter led the way for the Ducks, taking personal attention with his recruitment and spending extensive time building a relationship with Sneed’s parents. The linebacker is intrigued by the opportunity to play early at Oregon, and current defensive lineman Bradyn Swinson told him if he puts in the work he could see snaps as a freshman.
The culture head coach Mario Cristobal has built around the program focuses on chasing a national championship and sending players to the league — and that was made apparent during his time in Eugene.
“He makes it like a family atmosphere, like everyone is together accomplishing one dream, to make it to the NFL and win a national championship,” Sneed told Ducks Digest following his trip to Eugene. “He makes sure that’s instilled in his players' heads.”
The Ducks pulled out all the stops in this recruitment, going as far as telling Sneed he is a missing piece in their pursuit of a national championship. However, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly and the Irish bring a lot to the table: a national championship pedigree, an extensive linebacker tradition, and momentum on the recruiting trail. I think that may be too much to overcome.
Add in that Eugene is more than double the distance from Hilton Head, South Carolina to South Bend, and the chips look like they’re falling in Notre Dame’s favor. I think Sneed will end up in South Bend, but not for a lack of effort from the Oregon staff.
Prediction: Notre Dame
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