Blue and Gold Illustrated

April 2021

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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42 APRIL 2021 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY MIKE SINGER Charlie Means has been at Denison (Texas) High for 21 years and has seen a lot while coaching in the small town of 25,000 people just south of the Oklahoma border. One thing he hasn't seen is coaches from Notre Dame recruiting his pros- pects, but that changed in January when class of 2022 running back Jadarian Price netted an offer from the Fighting Irish. "As far as I know, this is the only kid we've ever had who has been recruited by Notre Dame, and we've had quite a few national recruits," said Means, who serves as the Yellow Jackets' offensive coordinator. Not only did Price receive a schol- arship from Notre Dame, but he ver- bally committed to the program. He announced his pledge to the Fighting Irish Feb. 21, which sent shockwaves in the Denison community. "Notre Dame is thought of as a school that is a long ways from here," Denison defensive coordinator and recruiting specialist Todd Wallis said. "There aren't people from around here that go to Notre Dame." Notre Dame has a national brand and will recruit any state — or coun- try for that matter — where the staff feels it can find an individual that fits the university from an academic and athletic profile. The Irish staff hasn't been able to meet Price in person because of the ongoing recruiting dead period en- forced by the NCAA, but running backs coach Lance Taylor learned enough about Price to want to accept his commitment. "It speaks volumes about Jadarian for them to go somewhere that they don't always come," Wallis said. Rivals ranks the 5-11, 180-pound Price as a four-star talent, the No. 38 player in the Lone Star State, and the No. 5 all-purpose back No. 230 over- all prospect in the country. His high school coordinators couldn't rave more about his talents on the field. "He's obviously a special kid. I'm glad we don't have to play against him and it's just practice," Wallis said with a laugh. "It's a run-by situation; we don't try to tackle him. We feel good by just getting close enough to be in a position to make a play." "He's multi-faceted," Mean s added. "He's very good as a true running back, but he's also an above average receiver. He plays in the slot for us sometimes and is a great route runner with a high football IQ. He's an exceptional football player. He's a great blocker, too. "Everything we do offensively starts with him. Our game plan is centered around him and how we can get him the ball. He's our focus." Means and Wallis both expressed very strong sentiments about how Price is an exemplary young man. Their comments may seem cliché, but they are genuine. "As good as he is a player, he's even better as a human," Wallis said. "He's a great kid and fantastic student. Jadarian is soft-spoken. It would be really easy to be verbose and tell ev- eryone how good he is, but if they see him play, then they already know. "He's a kid I welcome into my house at any time. He's a joy to be around." "He is a phenomenal football player, but he's an even better young man," Means echoed. "He's a high- character, role-model kid. He's the guy you want your daughter to date." Price planned to visit Notre Dame for a self-guided tour in February, but the heavy snowstorms in Texas prevented that from occurring. The four-star running back wanted to get his recruiting process over with, and after plenty of research he landed on Notre Dame. "The education I can get from Notre Dame is unmatched," Price said. "I have a great relationship with the coaching staff, too. My relation- ship with running backs coach Lance Taylor has grown strong." Price has been extremely produc- tive at the Texas 5A level — the sec- ond-highest classification in the state — rushing for 3,187 yards and 37 touchdowns on 513 carries through three high school seasons. As a junior, Price carried the ball 174 times for 1,145 yards and 18 scores. He was named to the Texas District 7-5A first-team offense and Padilla Poll Class 5A, D-II second-team All- State offense for his efforts in 2020. ✦ COMMITMENT PROFILE JADARIAN PRICE Notre Dame Enters Uncharted Territory To Land 2022 Running Back Rivals ranks Price as a four-star talent, the No. 38 player in the Lone Star State, and the No. 5 all- purpose back and No. 230 overall prospect in the country. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM FILM ANALYSIS "The 5-foot-11, 180-pound [Jadarian] Price isn't the biggest-framed back, but he's built long and lean with fantastic burst and built to accelerate in a hurry. He has plenty of speed to race out to the edge and can separate from a crowd in the open field. Price has shown excel- lent balance, to run with force and the ability to run through contact. "Price is a decisive runner with plant-and- run ability. He possesses great vision and is a threat to cut back or lower his shoulder and try to extend plays for added yardage. Price's ability to instantly accelerate allows for second and third bursts, and if he can find a crease, he's off to the races." — Rivals South Central recruiting analyst Sam Spiegelman

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