Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 6, 2021

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

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50 NOV. 6, 2021 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED FOOTBALL RECRUITING BY MIKE SINGER N otre Dame had quite the big quar- terback recruiting weekend when USC came to town Oct. 23. The Fighting Irish hosted five-star class of 2022 LSU quarterback commit Walker Howard. In addition, Maize (Kan.) High signal-caller Avery Johnson, a 2023 Ri- vals250 prospect, was on campus. In the 2024 class, Carlsbad (Calif.) High's Julian Sayin and Saline (Mich.) High's CJ Carr both made it to South Bend. All four pros- pects hold offers from Notre Dame. Notre Dame even dished out its first scholarship offer in the 2025 class to Findlay (Ohio) High quarterback Ryan Montgomery while he was on campus. There's no slowing down for Notre Dame offensive coordinator and quar- terbacks coach Tommy Rees on the trail. Denton (Texas) Guyer's Jackson Arnold reported that he would visit Notre Dame for the North Carolina game Oct. 30, and Rees offered Birmingham (Ala.) Briarwood Christian's Christopher Vizzina a scholar- ship Oct. 27. The Irish have offers out to six uncommitted class of 2023 passers. Vizzina camped at Notre Dame June 17 to show off his skills to the Irish coach- ing staff. He impressed them, but they wanted to see how he performed this fall. Through nine regular-season games of his junior season in leading Briarwood Christian to an 8-1 record, Vizzina com- pleted 113 of 159 passes for 1,639 yards with 15 touchdowns and two intercep- tions. He also ran 100 times for 480 yards and 11 scores. It's safe to say he has impressed Tommy Rees and Co. "I'm extremely excited," Vizzina said about the scholarship offer from the Irish. "Being able to play at a place where God is a huge part of the program is a blessing." Vizzina has formed a strong relation- ship with Rees. They've talked often over the past few months and contact picked up starting Sept. 1, when the two parties were able to start text message contact per NCAA rules. Rivals ranks Vizzina as the nation's No. 4 dual-threat quarterback. He holds offers from Auburn, Cincinnati, Florida, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Okla- homa State, Penn State and Tennessee. FOUR-STAR SAN DIEGO AREA QUARTERBACK VISITS NOTRE DAME Southern California has been a good area for Notre Dame quarterback recruit- ing over the years, and specifically the San Diego area recently with the Fighting Irish landing highly touted Tyler Buchner from San Diego Helix in the 2021 class. Sayin attends Carlsbad (Calif.) High, which is about 40 minutes north of the heart of San Diego. The class of 2024 quarterback has trained with Buchner before, too. Sayin became Notre Dame's first quar- terback offer in the 2024 class in June. He visited South Bend later that month and made it a priority to return to campus for a game-day experience Oct. 23. "It was definitely crazy, especially since it was a rivalry game at night. The light show was really cool, too. The stu- dent section was awesome." It's still very early in Sayin's recruit- ment, but Notre Dame is expected to be a contender for the long run. "I really like it there," he said. "I love the feeling I get there. The fans are great, and I loved the atmosphere." Sayin led Carlsbad to an undefeated regular season and has put up stellar numbers. He has completed 135 of 192 passes for 2,136 yards with 27 touch- downs and five interceptions. Among the other offers for Sayin are Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Miami, Penn State, Texas, Texas A&M and USC. MICHIGAN LEGACY RETURNS TO NOTRE DAME Within a week of Notre Dame offering Sayin, offensive coordinator Tommy Rees extended an offer to Saline (Mich.) High's Carr, who — like Sayin — is on Rivals' top-100 watch list for the 2024 class. Carr camped at Notre Dame for Irish Invasion June 6, and Rees saw enough at that point to offer him a scholarship. The 6-3, 180-pound gunslinger returned to Notre Dame's campus for the USC game. "It was a high priority," Carr said of wanting to get back to South Bend. "I wanted to go to a Notre Dame game, and it was awesome to make it for the rivalry game against USC. It was a great overall visit. I was excited to get there and talk to Coach Rees and get around the program." From the packed house to the light show in the stadium, Carr loved everything about the environment at Notre Dame. "It was a crazy atmosphere," he said. "You could feel the energy. It was a real community there with all of the stu- dents cheering their heads off. I'm looking forward to coming back." The Fighting Irish have established themselves as a top contender in his recruitment early on. "It's one of my top schools on my list at the moment," he said. "I loved the atmosphere and coaches. I liked what they were doing on offense, too. I liked their quarterback play and watching the game." Per MLive, Carr has completed 141 of 212 passes for 2,445 yards with 26 touchdowns and three interception, plus three rushing touchdowns, to lead Saline to an undefeated regular season. The last name Carr is synonymous with Michigan football. CJ's grandfather, Lloyd, coached at U-M from 1980-2007 with the last 13 seasons as the Wolverines' head coach, and his father, Jason, played quarterback for U-M from 1992-95. ✦ Notre Dame's Tommy Rees Has Been Busy In Quarterback Recruiting Class of 2024 quarterback Julian Sayin of Carlsbad (Calif.) High has 2,136 yards passing and 27 touchdowns as a high school sophomore. He visited for the 31-16 win against USC Oct. 23. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.CXOM

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