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Ranking The Notre Dame 2022 Signees - Offense Edition

Breaking down and providing final grades and analysis for the Notre Dame 2022 offensive class
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The final signing day is complete and we now know what the Notre Dame 2022 class will look like, and what the classes look like for the rest of college football. I've been able to dive into even more film since the December signing period and it's time to offer final grades and rankings for the signees.

Below are my rankings for the offensive class. The rankings are based on my grading system for each player's current evaluation. In the final rankings I'll include my upside grade as part of the final grade, and the pure upside rankings will be provided at the bottom of the article.

Note: Player comps are geared towards finding former college players with comparable body types and similar style of play. It is not meant to be a direct ceiling or upside ranking.

1. TOBIAS MERRIWEATHER, WIDE RECEIVER

Hometown/High School: Vancouver (Wash.) Union
Measurables: 6-4, 185
IB Grade: 4.5 (Top 50 caliber prospect)
Upside Grade: 5.0

Player Comp: Tee Higgins, Clemson

Merriweather is an incredibly talented wide receiver prospect. He received one of the highest grades I've given to a wide receiver in the last decade, especially once I revamped my grading system a few years ago. Merriweather has outstanding length, elite ball skills, he's far more fluid and smooth than you'd expect from such a long athlete and he has a great feel for playing the position. He has impressive long speed, and once he improves his stance and start, and once he spends a little time in the Matt Balis strength program his speed will explode, which will make him even more dangerous. The Washington native has an impressive natural feel as a route runner. Merriweather could eventually develop into a boundary receiver, but his ability to play all over the field is part of what makes him special. 

2. BILLY SCHRAUTH, OFFENSIVE LINE

Hometown/High School: Fond Du Lac (Wis.) St. Marys Spring
Measurables: 6-4, 280
IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 100 caliber prospect)
Upside Grade: 4.5

Player Comp: Ben Bredeson, Michigan

Landing Schrauth at the end of the process was huge for Notre Dame. It turned a really good offensive line class into an outstanding offensive line class. Schrauth has all the tools you want in a modern guard. He's long, he's physical and he loves to dominate opponents. Of course, that's always been something you wanted from an interior player. What makes Schrauth unique is that he combines those traits with impressive athleticism and foot quickness, which allows him to reach, work on the second level and play in space, absolute musts in a modern offense. This young man is very, very talented and fits perfectly into what Notre Dame wants at guard. He played some center during the All-American Bowl and he looked comfortable snapping and stepping with power.

3. JADARIAN PRICE, RUNNING BACK

Hometown/High School: Denison (Texas) High School
Measurables: 5-10, 190
IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 100 caliber prospect)
Upside Grade: 4.5

Player Comp: Ronald Jones, USC

I liked Price when Notre Dame landed him almost a year ago, grading him as a four-star recruit and a Top 200 caliber player. As a senior, however, Price saw his game explode. He rushed for 1,803 yards (9.3 YPC) and 18 touchdowns and also hauled in 27 passes for another 327 yards and a score. Price always showed off impressive vision, a high football IQ, great balance and the patience you want in a top running back. What made his grade jump as a senior is that Price showed the kind of explosiveness needed to be a game-changing back. Price can also make plays in the pass game and he's a tough runner despite not currently having the body mass desired. He'll need to fill out and get stronger, but the tools are there for him to be an outstanding ball carrier. Great pickup.

4. ELI RARIDON, TIGHT END

Hometown/High School: West Des Moines (Iowa) Valley
Measurables: 6-6, 225
IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 100 caliber prospect)
Upside Grade: 5.0

Player Comp: Kyle Rudolph, Notre Dame

Raridon is one of several Notre Dame signees that saw bigger jumps than normal during their senior seasons. At 6-6 and 225 pounds with very long arms, Raridon has the length and frame to become a monster physically. His length, leaping ability and excellent hands gives him the kind of catch radius that quarterbacks dream about at the tight end position. He is an explosive athlete that eats up the cushion of safeties in a hurry, and there aren't many linebackers that have the size and speed combo to hang with him. Once he adds more strength and improves his footwork/agility a bit as a route runner he'll be a matchup nightmare for future Irish opponents. A knee injury in December is a bit concerning.

5. JOEY TANONA, OFFENSIVE LINE

Hometown/High School: Zionsville (Ind.) High School
Measurables: 6-5, 285
IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 150 caliber prospect)
Upside Grade: 4.5

Player Comp: Josh Myers, Ohio State

There's nothing sexy about Tanona's game, he just gets the job done. What ranks Tanona so high is that while he possesses no elite tools, his game also has few weaknesses and he just does his job snap after snap, and at a high level. Tanona has the size toughness, agility and football IQ that Harry Hiestand has always coveted. Combine that with the fact he projects as a starting caliber player at right tackle, both guard spots and center and his versatility jumps him up a bit in the rankings as well. Tanona looked leaner as a senior, and the result was improved foot quickness and burst off the line. He played center as a junior and looked great before moving back to tackle as a senior. 

6. HOLDEN STAES, TIGHT END

Hometown/High School: Atlanta (Ga.) Westminster
Measurables: 6-4, 225
IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 200 caliber prospect)
Upside Grade: 4.5

Player Comp: Austin Hooper, Stanford

Staes is incredibly underrated, which is likely due to his lack of camp exposure and the fact he plays in such a run heavy offense. Make no mistake, despite his ranking this is a very, very talented young tight end that is just scratching the surface of how good he can be. Staes isn't as explosive vertically as Raridon, but he has a very impressive all-around athletic skill set. He is nimble for such a big athlete, he moves with easy and he's quite fluid. This is the kind of prospect tight end coaches who love route running dream of, because the tools are all there. His catch radius is outstanding and he has the ball skills to match. Staes showed more urgency as a senior, and his burst off the edge on defense stood out.

7. AAMIL WAGNER, OFFENSIVE LINE

Hometown/High School: Dayton (Ohio) Huber Heights Wayne
Measurables: 6-6, 260
IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 250 caliber prospect)
Upside Grade: 5.0

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Player Comp: Nicholas Petit-Frere, Ohio State

There isn't a player in this breakdown that has a higher floor to ceiling gap than Wagner, and it's all about the frame. Wagner is exceptionally long, athletic and he's a tough player despite being just 265 pounds. What surprised me when I first broke him down is that the run game is his best attribute in high school. His length and athleticism project to be special in the pass game once he gets more work. Here's the issue, he's listed at 265 pounds but he has a very thin frame, especially with the lower body. Can he fill out and maintain his athleticism? That's what brings his current grade down. If he fills out he could be a star, but if he doesn't he'll have a tough time even cracking the lineup.

8. ASHTON CRAIG, OFFENSIVE LINE

Hometown/High School: Lawrenceburg (Ind.) High School
Measurables: 6-4, 275
IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 250 caliber prospect)
Upside Grade: 4.5

Player Comp: Zack Martin, Notre Dame

This is a young prospect that Notre Dame's coaches passed on much, much higher ranked prospects to take, which says a lot about how they view him, and I get it. He rewarded that faith as a senior by emerging as a legitimate Top 250 caliber prospect on my board. Craig still has a lot of filling out to do and he needs more weight room strength, but his senior film was outstanding. He's very athletic and he has good length, traits that work at tackle just as much as they do center, the position he was recruited to play. Despite being just 275 pounds, Craig shows a lot of power on film. Craig possesses very strong hands and his leg drive really stands out. Great pickup for the Irish.

9. TY CHAN, OFFENSIVE LINE

Hometown/High School: Groton (Mass.) Lawrence Academy
Measurables: 6-5, 300
IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 250 caliber prospect)
Upside Grade: 4.5

Player Comp: Michael Deiter, Wisconsin

We didn't see Chan as a junior, so heading into this season the last time we saw him he was a maybe 260-pound player that looked more comfortable on defense than he did on offense. As a senior he came out as a 300-plus pounder and he was physically dominant as an offensive tackle. Chan is relatively athletic for his size, and once he cleans up his footwork (especially in the pass game) you'll see that show up on offense even more. He's very physical, he does a great job working his feet through contact and he has the length and feel to play in space. What he showed as a senior is that he has the run game dominance to not only play on the edge, but also to move inside if the need arises.

10. STEVE ANGELI, QUARTERBACK

Hometown/High School: Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic
Measurables: 6-2, 210
IB Grade: 3.5 (Top 400 caliber prospect)
Upside Grade: 4.0

Player Comp: Jack Coan, Notre Dame/Wisconsin

Angeli is a quality prospect that adds to the quarterback depth, and he shows ideal leadership and character traits. He has good size for a quarterback and he has a very quick release. Angeli can also throw off platform a bit and he shows a knack for making plays. He looks quite comfortable playing from the gun and he's quite accurate on short to intermediate throws. Angeli is a quality athlete with a great feel in the pocket. He'll need to improve his anticipation moving forward and his ball placement past 15 yards needs a lot of work. If he can improve those areas he'll be capable of eventually battling for a starting job.

UPSIDE RANKING

1. Tobias Merriweather, WR - 5.0
2. Aamil Wagner, OT - 5.0
3. Eli Raridon, TE - 5.0
4. Jadarian Price, RB - 4.5
5. Billy Schrauth, OL - 4.5
6. Holden Staes, TE - 4.5
7. Ty Chan, T/G - 4.5
8. Ashton Craig, G/C - 4.5
9. Joey Tanona, G/C - 4.5
10. Steve Angeli, QB - 4.0

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