Notre Dame landed a surprising, yet important player in the 2022 class when Rabun Gap (Ga.) Nacoochee defensive end Darren Agu committed to the Fighting Irish.
Notre Dame beat out Alabama for the 6-6, 230 pound athlete, which makes this recruiting win even bigger. Let's take a look at how the commitment of Agu impacts the Notre Dame 2022 recruiting class and the Irish depth chart.
Agu becomes the 12th player to commit to Notre Dame in the 2022 recruiting class, and the sixth player on defense.
Notre Dame was looking to add three defensive ends to the 2022 class, and landing Agu allows the Irish to meet that need. Agu joins a class that already had standout ends Tyson Ford and Aiden Gobaira.
Ford is one of the nation's top ranked ends, and Gobaira is in the midst of a brilliant junior season. While Ford is a pure power end, Gobaira has traits that could allow him to thrive at either end position.
In Agu, Notre Dame lands a player that projects best to the Vyper position. Agu is a standout tight end for his prep squad, and his prowess in the pass game should allow him to handle any coverage responsibilities effectively.
NOTRE DAME FIT
Agu is exactly the kind of defensive end that line coach Mike Elston covets. He's listed at 6-6, but beyond that he has incredibly long arms. Agu is listed between 225 and 235 pounds, but he has a long, lean, muscular body that will hold plenty of weight.
On film you see Agu play all over the defense, something you don't often see from a 6-6, 230-pound athlete. He'll line up as a standup edge and rush the passer, he'll put his hand in the ground and be physical in the run game, he plays off-ball linebacker and he'll line up in space and cover. What's even more impressive is that Agu looks just as comfortable in space as he does playing with his hand in the ground.
Agu must clean up his technique and become more consistent, but there are a lot of snaps where he shows a great burst off the edge, the kind that could lead to him being a top-notch edge rusher. The England native also shows quick feet and easy change of direction traits, which allows him to be as versatile as he shows.
You also see Agu showing extremely fast and strong hands, which combines well with his elite length to give him the potential to be a great block destructor. He shows a natural feel for it already, and with even more technique work Agu will be incredibly difficult to handle as both a pass rusher and run defender. He shows a good motor on game film and his closing speed is outstanding.
His combination of length, athleticism and experience on offense makes it very hard to ignore the comparisons of Agu to current Notre Dame junior Isaiah Foskey, who was also a standout high school tight end. Like Foskey, Agu is woefully underrated right now, and once he gets into college his rare traits give him a chance to one day develop into a special player on the edge at the Vyper position.
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