Now that 2022 Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic quarterback Steve Angeli has shut down his recruitment by committing to Notre Dame, he is now putting his focus on doing his own recruiting.
Right now, the Fighting Irish lay claim to the No. 7 class in the country on the 247Sport.com composite list, but Angeli believes that the program could end up with a top five group overall when the cycle wraps up.
Naturally, Angeli is plugged into which offensive prospects are on Notre Dame's board, and the new commit already has a firm gameplan on which prospects he's going to court.
“I'm definitely going to try to get [running back] Gavin Sawchuk from Valor and then [tight end] Holden Staes,” Angeli told Irish Breakdown. “I'm definitely going to pursue him. There's a couple other O-Linemen like Joe Brunner, Aamil Wagner, Jake Taylor, George Fitzpatrick and a couple of those guys we definitely want.”
Though Notre Dame already has one running back committed in Denison (Texas) High School standout Jadarian Price, the Irish are looking to add a second back to the class, and Littleton (Colo.) Valor Christian's Gavin Sawchuk is a top priority for the staff. Sawchuk ranks as the nation's No. 24 overall player, and he's a five-star recruit on the 247Sports composite list.
Sawchuk is a dynamic runner that would help shore up the Fighting Irish's backfield, and Atlanta (Ga.) Westminster School's Holden Staes is a 6-4, 230-pound tight end with offers from 24 other programs.
As for Brunner, Wagner, Taylor and Fitzpatrick are four-star tackle prospects from Wisconsin, Ohio, Nevada and Colorado respectively that would add some bulk up front to ND's 2022 class. Fitzpatrick is from the same area as Sawchuk, and the duo faced each other in the playoffs this past season.
In terms of who Angeli would like to throw to from the '22 class, the pro-style quarterback has a collection of players on his radar, including one that he has formed a close relationship with already.
“Tyler Morris, I've been playing with him, and he's a great guy, great dude and a phenomenal player,” Angeli said of his 7-on-7 teammate. “I'm going to do my best to get Kaden [Saunders] to flip and make the best decision for him and everything he wants. C.J. Williams, Addison Copeland, Jay Fair, just a few guys that I've stated.”
Of that contingent, Angeli is looking to flip Saunders from Penn State, and Williams is the highest rated of the group, sitting just outside of five-star status on 247Sports.com.
On the defensive side of the football, Angeli is familiar with quite a few Notre Dame targets, and he will be putting in work to add those players into the fold as well.
“I've been talking with [linebacker] Sebastian Cheeks a little bit, just trying to figure out where he is at,” Angeli said. “Recently, one of the linebackers just dropped his top six, [Niuafe Tuihalamaka]. There's a couple guys I'm starting to get an early jump on to create the best class for Notre Dame in '22.”
One notable absence from that laundry list of prospects is Angeli's Bergen Catholic teammate, Jaeden Gould. Standing at 6-2 and 190 pounds, Gould is a highly coveted cornerback with well over 30 offers to his name already. But as Angeli revealed, he and Gould may remain teammates at the college level.
“I hadn't said [Jaeden Gould] because I feel like I almost got him already,” Angeli added. “Jaeden Gould and Jayden Bellamy are two of the first guys I called. They're my guys, two of my best friends. I think that they'd be a great fit for Notre Dame. I know Notre Dame is high on them, and I know that they're both high on Notre Dame. I'm going to do my best to create that Bergen Catholic to Notre Dame pipeline as quick as possible and just let them know they Notre Dame is the best place for them.”
Bellamy is another one of Angeli's current teammates, and he received an offer from Notre Dame last month.
While Angeli is already close friends with both Gould and Bellamy, he is already working to build solid relationships with Notre Dame's seven other commits, and he has already spoken with each of those future Irish players.
“I've definitely been talking with some of our commits and some of the guys that are really considering Notre Dame,” Angeli noted. “[We are] possibly trying to see if we could schedule a self-guided tour coming up soon in the next couple of months or we'll wait until June and hopefully the date sticks and everything opens up. That way we can all visit together and get to know each other and make that bond stronger with the '22 class and try to recruit the right guys to complete our class and keep it going.”
In his short time as a Notre Dame commit, Angeli is already taking on a leadership role in the class and as any recruit would, he is hoping that a large collection of other talented players will be joining him in college. It is safe to say that he's putting in the legwork to turn that hope into a reality.
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