Notre Dame has picked up a commitment from underrated in-state offensive lineman Ashton Craig. The Lawrenceburg (Ind.) High School standout picked the Irish over programs like Michigan, Nebraska, Florida State, Iowa and many more.
Let's break down what this commitment means for Notre Dame.
NOTRE DAME CLASS IMPACT
Craig is the 16th player to commit to Notre Dame in the 2022 class and the eighth player on offense. He becomes the third offensive lineman to commit to Notre Dame, joining fellow Indiana blocker Joey Tanona and Massachusetts tackle Ty Chan.
Notre Dame came into this cycle needing at least four offensive linemen, but more importantly the staff needed to add high-upside talent to the class after taking a few more project type prospects in the 2021 class and landing just two total offensive linemen in the 2020 class.
Craig doesn't give the Notre Dame class a player with an overly impressive ranking, but he has the high-ceiling talent that is needed. Notre Dame is recruiting him to play inside but I could also see him playing on the edge, where his athleticism and length would shine.
NOTRE DAME FIT
Craig was listed at 6-5 and 260 pounds as a high school junior but sources tell me he is now over 280 pounds. That's a great sign for Craig, whose frame on film as a junior was really my only big concern about his game.
The Lawrenceburg standout shows impressive quickness off the ball both offensively and on defense. Despite his lack of girth on film he does show long arms and strong hands, and that combination of strength and quickness should allow him to thrive inside. That combination of quickness and hand strength should be especially helpful at center, which is where I believe Notre Dame wants to ultimately play him.
Although center might be his ideal position - or at least where Notre Dame is recruiting him - one aspect of Craig's projection that I like is his versatility. If he can play center then obviously he can play guard, but I also think he could play on the edge as a tackle. He's a bit raw from a fundamental standpoint but he was coached to play aggressively, which is a plus.
If you're someone who is obsessed with star rankings this is a player that won't move the needle much, but if you are a film watcher, an evaluator and someone who looks more at projection and upside than star rankings this is a pickup that adds value to Notre Dame's 2022 recruiting class.
5.0 - Elite player
4.5 - All-American caliber player
4.0 - Multi-year starter
3.5 - Key role player / Late career-starter
3.0 - Backup
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