On Thursday night, Notre Dame added its eighth commitment of the 2022 class and jumped to No. 7 overall in the 247Sports.com rankings when Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic quarterback Steve Angeli shut down his recruitment and pledged to the Irish.
Standing at 6-3 and 215 pounds, Angeli held offers from all across the country. Programs such as LSU, Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State had already offered Angeli and long recruited the pro-style passer, but the Fighting Irish edged out over 20 other programs for a multitude of reasons.
“After the dead period got pushed back, ever since that I've really hunkered down with my family and started to see if I was going to take a couple trips to see a couple more schools and figure it out,” Angeli told Irish Breakdown. “The past two, three weeks I've really been talking with Coach Vito [Campanile] and everybody that I'm close with, my family and my trainers. We finally figured that Notre Dame was the spot for me.
"They didn't make me commit or anything or pressure me to do anything," continued Angeli. "It was all on my terms, and they were so happy to have me. Coach [Tommy] Rees and I have built a strong relationship and Coach [Brian] Kelly has been great throughout everything as well. Ever since I had that first phone call with Coach Rees and getting the offer, I've got a special feeling between us and that never went away. I never really got that feeling with any other school. That's what came down to making the decision.”
As Angeli mentioned, Coach Rees was crucial in Notre Dame's ability to land the quarterback commitment this early in the 2022 cycle. The current Bergen Catholic signal caller and the former Fighting Irish quarterback were able to bond throughout the recruiting process, and his ability to connect with Angeli from day one was a key factor in this decision.
As much as Notre Dame fits what Angeli is looking for, the three-star quarterback is also a seamless fit for ND's future plans at the quarterback position.
“Coach [Rees] has just been looking for someone of my stature with my measurables and someone who has my abilities. but most importantly my intangibles and my leadership qualities, my football I.Q., my love for the game and my understanding of what it takes to be the quarterback for Notre Dame,” Angeli explained. “He really is going to do whatever he can to [build] the offense around the quarterback's strengths. That's what he tries to do every year and whatever he can do to put the offense in the best position.”
According to Angeli, Rees has stated that the Fighting Irish will only be taking one quarterback in this class after taking two quarterbacks in 2021. Notre Dame offered only four quarterbacks in the 2022 class up until this point anyways, but it does not appear that number will grow moving forward.
What is expected to increase moving forward, though, is Angeli's speed and strength on the field. The new Notre Dame commit has been busy working with both a private quarterback coach and personal trainer in addition to slinging the pigskin with this 7-on-7 team out of Chicago. In fact, it was Angeli's involvement with the Boom Football that allowed him to take a visit to Notre Dame's campus three months ago.
“During Covid, December 19, me and my dad took a trip out to Chicago for 7-on-7 and on our way we stopped at Notre Dame,” Angeli added. “That was my first time on campus ever, just seeing everything and it was a great experience with everything I was able to see.”
Angeli says that he is anxious to return to campus as soon as he can, and that process will be easy to schedule since his brother lives in Chicago already. In the meantime, Angeli will continue to work on his development in the offseason after going 68-115 for 919 passing yards and nine touchdowns a year ago en route to a 5-1 record for the Crusaders during a Covid-shortened 2020 season.
“Every year, our goal as a team is to finish No. 1 in the state and be crowned the state champions of New Jersey -- nothing less,” Angeli explained. “That's what my expectation is. That's what Coach Vito's expectation is. That's what Bergen Catholic's expectation is.”
Soon enough, Angeli will bring that same drive and dedication to South Bend as a member of the Fighting Irish.
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