News and notes on 2023 recruits that are being pursued by Notre Dame.
IRISH MAKING A MOVE WITH CARNELL TATE
From a technical perspective, recruits are allowed to visit college campuses as long as they have limited interaction with the coaching staff while on their self-guided tours, and that is exactly the route Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy wide receiver Carnell Tate took.
As a native of the greater Chicago area, Tate is very familiar with the Fighting Irish program and has issued effusive praise for the Notre Dame coaching staff, so the four-star receiver was anxious to visit South Bend two weekends ago.
“I was able to see everything, but I wasn’t able to go inside any buildings,” Tate told Irish Breakdown. “I was able to see where everything was and get a feel for the campus. I was also able to check out the surroundings of the campus.
“My favorite part was the Golden Dome and seeing the stadium. Even though I wasn’t able to go in the stadium it was just cool to look at it. Also, same with the Golden Dome. The Dome caught my eye from when I was on the highway. That’s how good it looked from a distance and even better close up.”
Tate is one of the top wide receiver targets for Notre Dame in the '23 cycle, and it is good for the school to have him on campus even if it wasn't a standard visit in the traditional sense. Look for Notre Dame to continue to push for both Tate as the recruiting process stretches on.
Tate is ranked as the nation's No. 48 overall player by Rivals and No. 57 by 247Sports.
NOTRE DAME GOING WEST FOR TOP PASS RUSHER
Among the players to hear from Notre Dame on the busy St. Patrick's Day offer push was Tacoma (Wash.) Lincoln athlete Jayden Wayne, a five-star recruit and the No. 14 player in the country according to 247Sports. Wayne, who already has double digit offers, was offered by Notre Dame once earlier in the process, but defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman took the time to clarify how much the program would like to add the 6-6, 245-pound pass rusher.
Wayne mentioned Coach Freeman and the excitement that he brings the ND program as one of the bright spots regarding the school, and he's hoping to continue building that relationship down the line. One strong selling point for Wayne is how successful the Fighting Irish have been in recent seasons, so that is another feather in the cap for Notre Dame in this recruitment.
Similar to many other prospects, Wayne hasn't had the chance to visit many schools during the dead period, but he named Notre Dame along with Clemson, Texas, Oregon and USC as locations he's hoping to check out once the visit period opens up.
IRISH IN GREAT SHAPE WITH ELITE OFFENSIVE LINEMAN
Notre Dame is still working on finishing up the 2022 offensive line class, but that hasn't stopped the Irish staff from making a push for some of the nation's best blockers in the 2023 class.
Notre Dame offered Orlando (Fla.) Timber Creek offensive lineman TJ Shanahan back in late February, and he's become a top priority. Talking to sources close to Shanahan's recruitment, he stays in regular contact with offensive line coach Jeff Quinn, and the two have already build a strong bond. In fact, according to our source that relationship is the strongest Shanahan has early in the recruiting process.
Shanahan consistently mentions Notre Dame as a school he is very high on early in the process, and his willingness to consistently reach out to the Irish coaches in a desire to build that connection speaks volumes. Notre Dame should be considered the early leader for Shanahan, but this one won't be easy.
Another thing Quinn and the Irish staff has going for them with Shanahan is that his father, grandfather and several uncles are all big Notre Dame fans. While that doesn't mean he's a lock to Notre Dame, it certainly helps, as does the early work being put in by Quinn.
The 6-5, 300-pound offensive tackle ranks as the nation's No. 50 overall player in the country by Rivals.
A BACK TO KEEP AN EYE ON
Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater running back Cedric Baxter Jr. is currently committed to Florida State. That hasn't stopped Notre Dame from offering him in mid-February, and the interest between the two is mutual. Running backs coach Lance Taylor has made an early impressive on Baxter.
It's very early in the process, but he's definitely a name to know as you start looking at 2023 running backs.
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