News and notes from the Notre Dame recruiting trail.
TOMMY REES WORKING ON LANDING TOP OFFENSIVE HAUL IN 2022
Notre Dame has six offensive players committed in the 2022 class. Although it's a quality, balanced group so far there is a need for the Irish staff to add even more impact players to fill out the class.
Landing a quarterback was the first key to putting the skill class together, and Notre Dame was able to add Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic signal caller Steve Angeli back in early March. That was the first shoe to drop for offensive coordinator Tommy Rees, who is primarily responsible for landing the kind of impact class the Irish need on offense.
“Coach Rees and I have built a strong relationship and Coach [Brian] Kelly has been great throughout everything as well,” Angeli told Irish Breakdown. “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.”
During the recruiting process, Coach Rees really sold Angeli on his future for the Fighting Irish offense. The two broke down game plans and situational football over Zoom calls, and that helped inform the Notre Dame commit on what to expect when he arrives in South Bend.
“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.”
Rees is now focusing on adding more weapons for his quarterback.
One top target on the board is wide receiver Tyler Morris, a 7-on-7 teammate of Angeli that hails from the same LaGrange (Ill.) Nazareth Academy program as former Notre Dame star Julian Love.
“They are definitely talking about their recruiting class,” said Morris, the nation's No. 78 overall player according to 247Sports and Rivals. “As of [Wednesday, March 17], they have the No. 2 ranked class, so I know their quarterback that committed in my class. We play on Boom 7-on-7 together, so they bring that up and are talking about how they want to use me and all the things they can do with me. That's something I'm really interested in.”
Atlanta (Ga.) Westminster tight end Holden Staes is another top target on the board for the Irish in the 2022 class. Staes is ranked as the nation's No. 96 overall player in the country according to ESPN. Notre Dame has done a great job selling Staes on how he'd fit into the offense.
"They would take me through where they see me fitting in in their system," Staes described. "Then after we got through with those first Zooms of me getting used to what they're doing offensively with the tight ends and all that, that's when I started getting into more of the academic stuff of Notre Dame and the strength and conditioning program, everything that the school has to offer.”
Rees has also pitched the program's success in developing NFL-caliber tight ends in recent years as part of the incentive to picking Notre Dame. Tight end Tommy Tremble has been mock drafted as a pick in the first three rounds, and that track record of developing the position is not lost on Staes.
The type of tenacity that Rees is showing on the recruiting trail and the success he's had in selling the future of Notre Dame's offensively has paid off already in the form of a half dozen commits in 2022. Angeli is fully bought in and he's been on the horn contacting other top offensive targets such as Staes and Morris. The collective effort demonstrated by both Rees and Angeli will be key in the Fighting Irish's attempt to finish with a top five class this cycle.
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