2022 Michigan Standout 'Emotional' About Notre Dame Offer

Nathan Erbach

We mentioned here on Irish Breakdown two weeks ago that Notre Dame was close to offering a talented 2022 defender from Michigan, and that is exactly what happened on Wednesday. 

Grand Rapids (Mich.) Central Catholic hybrid athlete Nolan Ziegler received the coveted Notre Dame offer, and the Irish joined the in-state Wolverines as the early favorites for his pledge.

Ziegler has been on the phone with Notre Dame offensive line coach Jeff Quinn every Monday for the last several weeks, and he has been in touch with defensive coordinator Clark Lea and senior analyst Nick Lezynski as well.

“I’ve been calling him (Coach Quinn) the past three Mondays,” he told Irish Breakdown. “I’ve also spoken to Coach Lea and Coach Lezynski. I like both of those coaches a lot, and then Coach Quinn is good friends with my head coach, as they used to coach together.

“My coach has been talking to him about me since the start of the spring,” he continued. “Because of COVID-19, they haven’t been able to come in and see me, but they are starting to talk to me more and now I have the offer, so that relationship helped a lot.”

While Quinn has been the Irish assistant Ziegler has been in contact with the most, it was Lea that was able to connect with the Michigan prep prospect and officially make the offer.

“I got on the phone with Coach Lea last week, but I was told to give him a call on Wednesday (August 5th),” he mentioned. “He wanted to see me do some on-field drills and see how my hips move. After that, it was like a day later, that’s when I got the offer. Coach Lea is a great guy, and I really like talking to him. I am excited to meet him in person.”

The moment Lea offered meant a lot to the entire Ziegler family. The ties to Notre Dame run deep, and it was always an offer that was going to be taken with a lot of excitement.

“It was really emotional for me,” he explained. “It is every kid's dream to get an offer like that, and growing up watching Notre Dame as a kid and just knowing that all my hard work is paying off. I am living a dream right now, and that is pretty sweet.”

With the Notre Dame and Michigan offers now in hand, it is no secret that those two schools stick out above the rest. They were dream offers for Ziegler, and they sit at the top of his list right now. While he hasn’t come out with an official top list yet, the 6-4, 205-pound linebacker said six schools are sort of sticking out right now.

“Michigan and Notre Dame are the top two right now,” he stated. “They are the closest and biggest schools that have offered so far. Iowa, Nebraska, Boston College and Cincinnati are all programs I really like as well.

“I want to be able to visit and see what the schools are like,” he continued. “That would be my preference before committing, but if it came down to it I should be able to make my decision without taking visits.”

Ziegler is currently a three-star recruit on 247Sports and Rivals, but with his size and athleticism I don’t see that being the case for much longer. 

He currently plays safety for Central Catholic, but at the collegiate level most colleges like him in that Rover role, or could even see him growing into an edge rusher. Regardless of the position, he is now a recruit that Notre Dame is prioritizing in the 2022 class and will have a very good chance at landing down the road.

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Comments (6)
No. 1-2
Jpirish58
Jpirish58

Great insight Sounds like the kind of young man ND wants. Nice to see Quinn involved since he knows the players coach. But I thought Quinn couldn't recruit. 😂😂
Joking ..#GoIrish

4 Replies

Mason Plummer
Mason Plummer

Editor

I think the Quinn hate comes from people comparing him to Hiestand. Both have done well recruiting and while Quinn is not Hiestand, he has recruited at a pretty nice clip, all things considered.

Jpirish58
Jpirish58

Yes I do agree and I made that point. He's not Harry, but he has done a dam good job considering Covid. Rocco even credited him in his recruitment spoke of him coaching him up.
I also think a lot of the vitriol is that he's a Kelly guy. Same with Rees. People don't like Kelly so that evokes from there.

John Connor
John Connor

It’s a misconception that Hiestsnd recruited better that Quinn has. By the recruiting numbers, OL recruiting under Hiestand and Quinn is nearly identical. It's all about recruiting the top guys, and on that score Hiestand and Quinn are the same.

In his last 5 recruiting classes, (2014-2018), Hiestand had 9 top-300 OL recruits: 5 top-100, 3 top-200, 1 top-250. With Spindler now in the fold, for the 2018-2022 classes (and the 2022 OL class is not close to finished), Quinn has had 9 top-300 OL recruits as well: 4 top-100 and 5 top-200.

The only difference between Hiestand and Quinn in those years is that Hiestand brought in 7 guys who were not top-300 and Quinn has now brought in three -- Jarrett Patterson, who was just outside the top-300 at 369 and is a multi-year starter, and two this year, Pat Coogan and John Alt, both of whom have good potential. Of the 7 that Hiestand brought in, two transferred (Luke Jones and Parker Boudreaux), two never played, (Jimmy Byrne and Dillon Gibbons), and only two are still fighting to see significant playing time and, given the quality of the depth chart, may never start (John Dirksen and Cole Mabry). The only one who saw any playing time was Trevor Ruhland, and that was as a 4th year and 5th year, both times due to injury. So comparing the above-top-300 guys that Hiestand and Quinn recruited, Quinn has arguably the better record.

Here’s the tally:

2014-2018: Hiestand
Tommy Kraemer – 26
Quenton Nelson – 61
Liam Eichenberg – 80
Robert Hainsey – 84
Tristan Hoge – 89
Alex Bars – 109
Josh Lugg – 120
Aaron Banks – 166
Sam Mustipher - 225
Jimmy Byrne – 311
Dillon Gibbons – 374
Parker Boudreaux – 403
Trevor Ruhland – 462
John Dirksen - 515
Luke Jones - 516
Cole Mary - 716

2018-2022: Quinn
Rocco Spindler – 48
Blake Fisher – 50
Zeke Correll – 95
Tosh Baker – 100
Quinn Carroll – 118
Joey Tanona – 132
Michael Carmody – 146
Andrew Kristofic – 183
John Olmstead – 185
Jarrett Patterson - 369
Pat Coogan – 563
Joe Alt – 625

Irish For Life
Irish For Life

There is one problem. You are giving full credit to Quinn for recruits that were 80% recruited by Hiestand for the class of 2019.

Zeke Correll
Quinn Carroll
Andrew Kristofic
John Olmstead

This slants the results of the comparison.

T_RICCIO
T_RICCIO

TY, Great story. Bryan, any thoughts of him as a prospect?