Notre Dame has picked up its second player in the 2022 class, with Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton tight end Jack Nickel committing to the Fighting Irish. Nickel is a talented player and gives Notre Dame a great start to the 2022 class.
Standing at 6-4 and 230 pounds, Nickel is currently ranked as the No. 269 player in the country according to ESPN. Nickel ranks as the sixth best tight end by ESPN and he ranks as the 19th best player from Georgia according to 247Sports.
Notre Dame offered Nickel back on May 6, making him one of the earlier offers of the 2022 class. It was clear in speaking to Nickel shortly after he received his offer that Notre Dame would be a major player in his recruitment and that never wavered.
“Notre Dame checks every important box for me,” Nickel said. “There is no other school in the country that is consistently in the Top 25 in football but is also a top school academically like Notre Dame is.”
The pedigree of the tight end position was also very important to Nickel in his decision to commit to Notre Dame. Nickel told Irish Breakdown about how great of a relationship he and tight ends coach John McNulty have, and that he feels he can be the next great tight end to come out of Notre Dame.
“Coach McNulty was really excited when I told him I was committing to Notre Dame,” explained the talented tight end. “Right before I told them, Coach McNulty and Coach [Brian] Polian were telling me they think that I am the best tight end in the 2022 class, which is awesome. They think I am the perfect fit for Notre Dame, and I do too.”
It became apparent that Nickel was getting closer to a decision when he visited Notre Dame on June 30 with family. The skilled tight end and his family took a week-long trip across the midwest to visit some of Jack’s top schools, and the visit to Notre Dame was game-changing in his recruitment. Nickel visited Ohio State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Purdue, and more along the trip, but it was clear the Notre Dame visit stood out to him.
“Notre Dame definitely has the nicest campus I have seen so far,” said Nickel. “When I went on my first visit to Notre Dame last October for the USC game, I didn’t really get to see the whole campus. I got to see all of the facilities and all the stuff that has to do with football, but nothing else really. This time, I got to see some of the iconic buildings like the Golden Dome and the Grotto, which was awesome.”
Just over two weeks since that visit to South Bend, Nickel is now in the fold as the second public commitment of the 2022 class. But Nickel committed to the staff almost two weeks ago, making him actually the first player to join the class.
It was not his intention to be the first, but Nickel felt that the time was right.
“It just kind of happened. I did not really care if I was the first commitment, but it is pretty cool,” Nickel explained. “To me, there was no point in waiting any longer to commit. I got all of the offers I wanted as a tight end, Penn State, Iowa, Wisconsin, but the academics and football at Notre Dame set it apart from any other school.”
McNulty did a great job identifying Nickel early, offering him and quickly developing a strong connection. When it is all said and done and the 2022 class rankings are final, I believe Nickel will be one of the top tight ends in the nation, and getting him to commit this early is significant.
Notre Dame beat out Penn State, Wisconsin, Oregon, Iowa, Florida State, Miami (Fla.), Michigan State, and more for Nickel’s pledge.
Being that Nickel is a born-winner and wants to play with the best, he is already getting to work on bringing some of the top talents he has come in contact with to Notre Dame.
“I definitely want to recruit guys to Notre Dame,” said the new Irish commit. “I want to have some really good teams when I go through Notre Dame. There are already some guys I am hitting up to join me.”
With Nickel as a member of the 2022 class, Notre Dame is getting a great first piece and a potential future standout at tight end. He can run, catch, block, and has plenty of room to add weight on his already impressive frame. Watch out for Nickel’s recruiting ranking to skyrocket as he adds more film to his reel. Notre Dame may have found its next star tight end.
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