Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 27, 2021

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

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44 NOV. 27, 2021 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED FOOTBALL RECRUITING ROUNDUP RECRUITING NOTES • Heading into Notre Dame's matchup with Georgia Tech Nov. 20, Blue & Gold Illustrated was told that Indian Trail (N.C.) Metrolina Christian Acad- emy specialist Bryce McFerson would be taking an official visit to Notre Dame that weekend. McFerson has been committed to Wake Forest since September but looks to be open to the Fighting Irish. Whether Notre Dame is pushing for him as a scholarship player in its 2022 class remains to be seen. Notre Dame is interested in McFerson as a punter, and he's the No. 2 player at that position in the 2022 class per Kohl's Professional Camps. McFerson is committed to playing in the 2022 All-American Bowl. • Notre Dame had a recruiting loss on Nov. 12 when Pickerington (Ohio) Central's Alex "Sonny" Styles, the nation's No. 1 athlete and No. 6 overall player in the 2023 class per Rivals, picked Ohio State over Notre Dame. The timing of Styles' announcement was sooner than anticipated, but the result wasn't a big surprise, considering his father played for the Buckeyes, and Styles is a Columbus kid. Styles was Notre Dame's top linebacker on the 2023 recruiting board and is the younger brother of Irish receiver Lorenzo Styles. The loss stings, but the Fighting Irish are in the mix for several other talented recruits at linebacker. • Tampa (Fla.) Berkeley Prep's Keon Keeley, the No. 3 weak-side defensive end and No. 106 overall player in Amer- ica per Rivals, has been out- standing as a junior, racking up 25 tackles for loss and 13 sacks in nine games. With his domi- nant performances comes more recruiting attention, despite Keeley being commit- ted to Notre Dame since late June. The latest school to offer Keeley a scholarship was the Georgia Bulldogs on Nov. 18. Holding on to Keeley won't be easy with more programs beating down his door, but he seems to love Notre Dame the most. • Blue & Gold Illustrated learned that Notre Dame defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman and safeties coach Chris O'Leary planned to head to Iowa on Nov. 19 to see Pleasant Hill (Iowa) Southeast Polk battle Ankeny (Iowa) High in the Iowa Class 5A State Championship game. The main purpose of their visit is to show love to Southeast Polk safety Xavier Nwankpa, Rivals' No. 1 safety and No. 14 overall prospect in the 2022 cycle. During Freeman and O'Leary's visit to Iowa, they won't be allowed to have a sit-down meeting with him, but that will likely occur during a home visit, which can take place during the NCAA's contact period between Nov. 28 and Dec. 11. — Mike Singer Quarterback Steve Angeli, 6-3, 215, Oradell, N.J. (Bergen Catholic) Walker Howard, 6-0, 186, Lafayette, La. (St. Thomas More) Running Back Jadarian Price, 5-11, 175, Denison, Texas (Denison) Wide Receiver Xayvion Bradshaw, 6-0, 185, Bluefield, Va. (Graham) Joseph Griffin, 6-4, 195, Springfield, Mass. (Central) Wesley Grimes, 6-2, 173, Raleigh, N.C. (Millbrook) Tobias Merriweather, 6-4, 180, Vancouver, Wash. (Union) Amorion Walker, 6-3, 170, Ponchatoula, La. (Ponchatoula) CJ Williams, 6-2, 193, Santa Ana, Calif. (Mater Dei) Tight End Eli Raridon, 6-6, 220, West Des Moines, Iowa (Valley) Holden Staes, 6-4, 230, Atlanta (Westminster) Offensive Line Ty Chan, 6-6, 265, Groton, Mass. (Lawrence Academy) Ashton Craig, 6-5, 275, Lawrenceburg, Ind. (Lawrenceburg) Billy Schrauth, 6-5, 280, Fond du Lac, Wis. (St. Mary's Springs) Joey Tanona, 6-5, 290, Zionsville, Ind. (Zionsville) Aamil Wagner, 6-6, 255, Huber Heights, Ohio (Wayne) Defensive End Tyson Ford, 6-6, 250, St. Louis (John Burroughs School) Aiden Gobaira, 6-5, 225, Chantilly, Va. (Chantilly) Anthony Lucas, 6-5, 285, Scottsdale, Ariz. (Chaparral) Defensive Tackle Donovan Hinish, 6-2, 270, Pittsburgh (Central Catholic) Hero Kanu, 6-5, 293, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. (Santa Margarita Catholic) Linebacker Joshua Burnham, 6-3, 200, Traverse City, Mich. (Traverse City Central) Jaylen Sneed, 6-1, 207, Hilton Head, S.C. (Hilton Head) Niuafe Tuihalamaka, 6-3, 230, Mission Hills, Calif. (Bishop Alemany) Nolan Ziegler, 6-4, 205, Grand Rapids, Mich. (Catholic Central) Cornerback Austin Ausberry, Baton Rouge, La. (University Laboratory School) Jayden Bellamy, 6-1, 175, Oradell, N.J. (Bergen Catholic) Jaden Mickey, 5-11, 165, Corona, Calif. (Centennial) Devin Moore, 6-3, 182, Naples, Fla. (Naples) Benjamin Morrison, 6-0, 172, Phoenix (Brophy Prep) Safety Xavier Nwankpa, 6-2, 185, Pleasant Hill, Iowa (Southeast Polk) Commitments in bold italics Class Of 2022 Master List 2022 Master List Changes Prospects Committed: None. Prospects Decommitted: None. Prospects Removed: DE Alex Bauman of Red Bank, N.J. (no longer be- ing recruited by Notre Dame) and ATH Carson Tabaracci of Park Hill, Utah (committed to Utah). RIVALS 2022 TEAM RECRUITING RANKINGS As of Nov. 19 1. Georgia 22 2. Alabama 19 3. Notre Dame 22 4. Texas A&M 18 5. Penn State 25 6. Texas 22 7. Ohio State 16 8. Oregon 20 9. Oklahoma 17 10. North Carolina 16 Rk. School Commits Rk. School Commits Follow @MikeTSinger on Twitter for daily recruiting updates on! Tampa (Fla.) Berkeley Prep's Keon Keeley, the No. 3 weak-side defen- sive end and No. 106 overall player in America per Rivals, picked up an offer from Georgia Nov. 18. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM RIVALS 2023 TEAM RECRUITING RANKINGS As of Nov. 19 1. Oklahoma 7 2. Georgia 7 3. Notre Dame 6 4. Penn State 4 5. Ohio State 3 6. Texas A&M 3 7. Florida State 4 8. Arkansas 3 9. Florida 3 10. Nebraska 2 Rk. School Commits Rk. School Commits

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