Notre Dame has landed Denison (Texas) High School running back Jadarian Price, kicking off its 2022 offensive skill class. The Irish are not, however, done at the position.
With sophomore running back Kyren Williams breaking out in 2020, rushing for 1,125 yards and 13 touchdowns, there's a chance another strong season could result in the St. Louis native leaving early for the NFL. The Irish are also likely not bring back C'Bo Flemister in 2022.
That leaves Notre Dame with just Chris Tyree, Audric Estime and Logan Diggs as locks to return to the backfield in 2022. Five is the ideal number at running back, especially with the uncertain future in regards to Covid-19 protocols. Price was a great start, but Notre Dame needs a second back in the class.
Notre Dame does not necessarily need a back that has a complementary skill set, although that is certainly a benefit to any two-back class. With Price on board the Irish coaching staff needs to use him as the floor for the two-man haul. Any additional back in the class needs to be as good, or better, than the Notre Dame commit.
There are three players left on the board that landing would give Notre Dame the kind of high-level running back class it needs. Those three players are Nicholas Singleton, Dallan Hayden and Gavin Sawchuk.
All three will be tough to land, but Notre Dame is among the top schools for each of those prospects. Notre Dame's coaching staff needs to put the full court press on all three prospects in an attempt to add one of them to the class. Landing one of these impact backs is a must, and should be a bit easier now that it has Price in the class.
Singleton is the No. 88 overall player in the country according to 247Sports after rushing for 1,311 yards (12.3 YPC) and 22 touchdowns in just eight games as a junior. Singleton's combination of size, vision and athleticism are outstanding, and he'd be a great fit in the Notre Dame offense.
Hayden is a significantly underrated prospect, checking in as the No. 252 overall players in the country on the 247Sports composite rankings. The Memphis native is a no-nonsense back with top-notch vision, foot quickness and big-play potential, and that was on full display during the 2020 season when he racked up 2,010 yards (8.7 YPC) and 24 touchdowns in just nine games.
While Notre Dame is right in the mix with Singleton and Hayden, the Irish are a bit further behind with Sawchuk, the nation's No. 23 overall player in the country on the 247Sports composite list. ESPN ranks Sawchuk as the No. 14 overall player in the country and the No. 2 back.
Sawchuk has elite speed and home run ability, and he's the most diverse back on the board. Oklahoma is considered the team to beat, but Notre Dame is still making a push.
There are plenty of other talented targets on the board. Notre Dame has offered Cincinnati (Ohio) LaSalle running back Gi'Bran Payne, a tough runner with an impressive offer list that ranks as the nation's No. 120 overall player on the composite ranking.
The Irish are also involved with College Park (Ga.) Woodward Academy running back Damari Alston, a high academic prospect from a top private school in Georgia. Notre Dame, Alabama, Ohio State, Florida, Auburn and Oregon are just a few of the offers for Alston.
Alston ranks as a three-star recruit by 247Sports, but his film and skill is much better than that. Rivals ranks him as the nation's No. 183 overall player.
Notre Dame recently offered Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Oakland running back Jordan James, the nation's No. 122 overall player. According to 247Sports, Tennessee and Georgia are considered the top schools for James.
Notre Dame is also actively pursuing Rockwall (Texas) Heath running back Zach Evans. Evans is an intriguing prospect that has Notre Dame, Texas and Utah as his top three schools. Despite being listed as a consensus three-star, Evans has impressive film and an impressive offer list, and both show impressive talent that exceeds his ranking.
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