Notre Dame has concluded its official visits for the month of June and in many ways things went very, very well for the Fighting Irish staff. Notre Dame added three commitments, including one on offense (Ashton Craig).
The next few weeks will determine just how successful this month was, as a number of prospects are either poised to commit, or they are in position where the Notre Dame staff wants them to commit.
Here's a look at where recruiting stands for the Notre Dame offense as it embarks on this pivotal month.
Commit: Steve Angeli
Notre Dame found their quarterback commit very early on. Angeli was the first quarterback to earn an offer in the 2022 class and he committed in March. The New Jersey native has been a highly active recruiter for the Irish ever since.
Notre Dame wanted a strong two-man class in 2022 in order to solidify and completely rebuild the backfield after recruiting struggles prior to Lance Taylor's arrival. Landing Jadarian Price in February was a tremendous start to the class. A consensus four-star recruit that earned a Top 200 prospect grade on the Irish Breakdown board.
After Price committed the board quickly shrank to three outstanding prospects: Nicholas Singleton, Dallan Hayden and Gavin Sawchuk. Hayden has since committed to Ohio State and Sawchuk committed to Oklahoma.
Singleton visited Notre Dame last weekend and the Irish staff hit a home run. The Fighting Irish are battling Penn State for his commitment. Notre Dame led early, the Nittany Lions climbed on top as his recruitment dragged on and now the Irish are in a very strong position with Singleton.
For Notre Dame to meet its needs at the position the staff must close on Singleton.
Three was the target number early on but after losing four wideouts from the current roster during the offseason a strong case could be made that Notre Dame needs four receivers in the class.
Notre Dame took Amorion Walker very early on, giving them a long prospect with quality track times, which the staff hopes turns him into an outside vertical threat. LSU and Alabama have both recently offered Walker, so the Irish will have to battle to keep him in the class, but so far the response from the Walker family is that he is solid to the Irish.
Notre Dame's 2019 receiver class is gone and the 2020 class is now down to just one player. The Irish had a strong three-man group in 2021 but another deep, talented class is an absolute must. Tobias Merriweather and CJ Williams are the top targets on the board, and landing both is a must if Notre Dame wants to put together the kind of gap closing group of receivers it absolutely needs in this class.
The Irish are in a very similar position with both players. Merriweather and Williams have both talked about making decisions sometime in the fall, while the Notre Dame staff would love for both to decide this summer. Knockout visits with both has the Irish in great position in their recruitment, but the longer things drag on the more precarious that position becomes.
Notre Dame will look to get them to join the class soon in hopes of locking down the class.
Notre Dame hosted Nicholas Anderson the weekend of June 18th and as was the case with Merriweather and Williams things went quite well. Anderson visited Oregon this past weekend, and barring the Ducks absolutely crushing that visit the Irish are in a very strong position with Anderson, should it decide to take his commitment. Everything I've heard from sources is Notre Dame would do just that.
There's a chance Notre Dame could get all three of the above prospects in the class this summer, which is exactly what the staff wants.
Should Notre Dame miss out on one of the three players listed above it would turn its attention to Elic Ayomanor and Xayvion Bradshaw. My personal opinion is that not prioritizing Bradshaw is a mistake, but the staff appears comfortable taking bigger targets with somewhat similar games in this class.
Notre Dame's path to a tight end class was a bit of a roller coaster, but in the end the Irish landed an outstanding one-two punch.
Tight end Jack Nickel was actually the first tight end commit in the class. It was an odd early take and ultimately the staff realized there were better prospects on the board. It first turned to Holden Staes and eventually offered Eli Raridon.
Notre Dame was more than willing to keep Nickel in the class, but the staff also was honest about its desire to also add Staes and Raridon. Nickel ultimately decided to decommit and the staff got the two tight ends it wanted. The Irish can now focus all their tight end attention on the loaded 2023 class.
Notre Dame's 2019 class is down to three and the 2020 class only had two signees. The Irish landed two elite prospects (Blake Fisher, Rocco Spindler) in the 2021 class but the other three prospects are either projects (Joe Alt) or lower ceiling prospects (Caleb Johnson, Pat Coogan).
Notre Dame needs depth and high-level talent in the 2022 class. Landing Joey Tanona and Ty Chan early on gave the Irish a strong start, but it took quite awhile to find their third commit in the class. That was Ashton Craig, who committed this weekend, over sixth months after Chan pledged.
Who Notre Dame adds next is going to determine if this is just a good offensive line class or an elite haul that is befitting to a program known as "O-Line U."
Billy Schrauth, Jake Taylor and Zach Rice are the cream of the crop prospects left on the board. The staff absolutely must land one of these prospects for this class to be considered good enough for a program like Notre Dame.
Schrauth was considered a very, very strong lean to the Irish for months. After visiting Wisconsin and then Notre Dame in consecutive weeks all that positive momentum that had been building since the winter seemed to evaporate, and now the in-state Badgers are considered the team to beat. According to my sources, head coach Brian Kelly and offensive coordinator Tommy Rees are working hard to get Schrauth back in the fold, and he could very well hold the key to this class being a high success.
Landing Rice will be far, far more difficult, but a great visit this weekend has made Notre Dame a player. It will take a lot of work and Rice doesn't seem to be in decision making mode right now, which actually benefits Notre Dame.
Taylor at this point is very much a long shot and Oklahoma is likely his ultimate landing spot.
Ohio tackle Aamil Wagner is a highly ranked prospect (No. 76 according to 247Sports), but he's quite undersized and is a bit of a project at this point. He could be an intriguing prospect that could be dynamic if he reaches his full potential, but he has a lower floor than other top targets on the board.
Hinzman and Brunner are longshots at this point.
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