Notre Dame is trying to cap off its already strong offensive line class with one of the nation's very best blockers, and there are two elite prospects on the board. One of those must-get players is Rock Island (Ill.) Alleman offensive tackle Charles Jagusah.
The Irish staff has made Jagusah a huge priority from the moment that line coach Harry Hiestand was hired, and the talented blocker made another visit to Notre Dame this pats weekend. He was joined by his mother, Sheila Doak, and the pair arrived Saturday evening after wrapping up a visit to Michigan.
Jagusah quickly got into a comfortable groove on campus. He got an opportunity to meet 2023 commits and recruits and the 2022 group of offensive linemen that had just arrived on campus. Even though things felt the same, the vibe of this weekend began with a spark.
“This trip was more of the same,” Jagusah said glowingly. “It was great just like my other visits. I was able to see the other 2023 guys and the freshman class that just arrived. I spent a lot of time with (2022 signee) Ty Chan and we had a blast. When the 2022 guys had to leave together, I hung out with the veteran linemen. We had an O-lineman barbecue that was pretty cool too.”
Previously, Irish Breakdown reported that this would be Sheila Doak’s first time on campus with her son, and that was the case over the weekend. However, this was not her first time on the Notre Dame campus as she briefly visited three years ago as she toured with her daughter on a college trip and twenty-five years ago as sports enthusiast who happened to be nearby in her travels.
“This wasn’t my first time on the campus," Doak told Irish Breakdown. "I’ve been there twice before, and I knew what the campus had to offer. This trip was all about football.”
That’s right, you heard the lady! Doak’s entire focus for the Notre Dame trip was football, as her conversations with head coach Marcus Freeman and Hiestand have been less frequent than the other coaches. The approach even took Charles by surprise as he watched his mother navigate the coaching staff with questions that she needed answered.
“Coach Freeman is a great guy," Doak said. "He’s very energetic and goal oriented with a clear plan for Charles as a player and after his playing days are over. Coach Hiestand is a great guy as well and you can tell he’s a great coach.”
How would Doak know this? Well, Hiestand set up some time to go over film and development with Charles, and Doak was right there for the full two-and-a-half-hour film session. Doak comes from a highly athletic family with a championship wrestling resume that Jagusah recently added to this March with his heavyweight state championship. She loved watching the communication between Hiestand and her son, who was just as excited to be spending time with a legendary coach.
“My mom might have loved watching film more than me,” Jagusah stated. “Coach Hiestand was showing me some things I can improve upon about my technique and footwork, and once he showed me one thing, I had tons of questions for each piece of advice. Now, I’m looking forward to going back and applying the things he showed me to become a better player.”
It’s fair to say that Jagusah has enjoyed what June has had to offer. He’s visited four great programs and relaxed with fine cuisine to boot. Amid that, there have been a few days of training mixed in at Alleman with his teammates to ramp up for the new season. As he treks to the local golf course to sneak in a quick round, he reflects on maybe having too much fun.
“Man, I’m sore right now,” Jagusah said. "I’ve been relaxing and eating and thought I could just jump back into things, but I’m paying for it. Hopefully, my game won’t suffer before we’re back Thursday."
Thursday will be a day to remember for recruiting purposes as well, because it will be the first that Jagusah and his head coach, Fritz Dieudonne, will talk more in depth about his visits and where he stands right now. The two shared a few texts during each visit, but that was just to share the overall thought of how things were going at each stop. This conversation will begin the process that should eventually lead to a decision.
“The problem with recruiting is you never feel finished,” Jagusah detailed. “There is a feeling of did you ask everything. But, I think I pretty much know what I need to know. I’m going to make a decision and announce before our season starts to lock things and allow my team to focus on the season.”
Doak seems to feel the same way about being ready to finally end the recruitment after getting an opportunity to experience the football side of the Notre Dame program. She also enjoyed meeting some of the parents of the commits and recruits during the weekend. The one thing that will always stay with her is the Hiestand film session.
“Charlie is going to have to work a little on the grabbing that comes from wrestling," Doak said. “That film session was the most memorable part of the trip for me. I got to see why Coach Hiestand is so good. It’s time to sort things out, and a decision should be made over the next one to two weeks. We’ll make the announcement when and however he wants to do it.”
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