Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2022

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

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BLUEGOLDONLINE.COM FEBRUARY 2022 37 PREP PROFILES The coaching carousel has stopped spinning for head coaches at the top of Power Five level, at least for now. But there are still plenty moves left to be made for assistant coaches moving to different programs. This is something Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy class of 2023 wide re- ceiver Carnell Tate is keeping a close eye on as he inches closer to making his college commitment. "I'm definitely paying attention to it," he told Blue & Gold Illustrated. "You have to see where each coaching staff lands before you make your decision." Notre Dame made headlines for its moves in the coaching carousel with Brian Kelly bolting for LSU and Mar- cus Freeman taking his place as the new Irish head coach. The two coaches lead- ing the charge in Notre Dame's pursuit of Tate have been offensive coordinator Tommy Rees and wide receivers coach Del Alexander, who are still on the Irish staff. Tate speaks highly of both. "He's a great guy," Tate said of Rees. "He's been there since Day 1 when I was a scrawny freshman. Our relation- ship has always been very strong. My family and I considered him to be like family." Tate made plans to visit Ohio State Nov. 20 when the Buckeyes blasted Michigan State 56-7, but he considered visiting Notre Dame instead that day. He came up with the idea of keeping his Ohio State visit locked in and visiting Notre Dame the following day to hang out with the coaching staff. "Columbus was my originally planned visit, but Notre Dame is close to home [Chicago], so I figured why not just go up there again," Tate added. "I'm close enough to the [Notre Dame] coaches to just go up there and hang out and even necessarily do a whole recruiting visit." Tate has been a regular at Notre Dame this year, going back to the spring when he took a self-guided tour of campus. He visited three times in June and saw the Irish fall to Cincinnati Oct. 2. His Nov. 21 visit was his sixth time at Notre Dame. Tate originally planned to commit in October but didn't feel ready to make an early decision. He would like to take five official visits in the April-June period before committing to a school. The Irish will likely be on Tate's of- ficial visit list, and whenever he does make his college decision they'll be a finalist. — Mike Singer Birmingham (Ala.) Briarwood Chris- tian's Christopher Vizzina is one of a few quarterbacks in the 2023 class who holds a scholarship offer from Notre Dame. Fighting Irish offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tommy Rees extended an offer to Vizzina Oct. 27. The four-star recruit wanted to get up to Notre Dame as soon as possible after receiving the offer, but couldn't with his high school football schedule. However, the 6-4, 200-pounder did make it to Notre Dame Dec. 11. "It was an amazing visit," Vizzina said. "I got to meet Coach [Marcus] Freeman for the first time, and he sat me and my family down and told us how much I mean to the future of the pro- gram. I got to talk to Coach Rees a lot, too, and met a lot of other coaches. I saw all of the facilities and talked to some of the 2022 commits. "What I really took away from the visit was how everyone there wants to be great. They want you to be a great, all-around person. That makes a pro- gram very attractive." Vizzina threw for Notre Dame's coaching staff during a prospect camp June 17, but the staff wanted to see his junior tape before extending the offer. Clearly, they were impressed with him. Vizzina completed 147 of 209 throws (70.3 percent) with 18 touchdowns and four interceptions, while also adding 649 rushing yards and a whopping 16 scores on the ground in 12 games. "When I went to camp, I got to see the football aspect of Notre Dame," Vizzina said. "On this visit, I saw what life is like at the university and learned more about the people there. The way people want to be a high-character person and great at football, that's something that's unique about Notre Dame. That's an- other factor that adds on to how signifi- cant Notre Dame is." Vizzina wants to take his time with his process to ensure he's making the right decision, but he also wants to pick a school early on so that he can help build their 2023 class. "I'll have that feeling when it's time," he said about a commitment. "I just don't know when that time will be." — Mike Singer Can The Irish Beat Ohio State For Elite 2023 Wide Receiver? Four-Star Alabama Quarterback Returns To South Bend CARNELL TATE ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ IMG Academy Bradenton, Fla. Status: Offered Class: 2023 Position: Wide receiver Ht.: 6-2 • Wt.: 178 On3 Consensus Rankings: No. 4 player in Florida, and No. 3 wide receiver and No. 17 overall player nationally CHRISTOPHER VIZZINA ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ Briarwood Christian H.S. Birmingham, Ala. Status: Offered Class: 2023 Position: Quarterback Ht.: 6-3 • Wt.: 194 On3 Consensus Rankings: No. 9 player in Alabama, and No. 9 quarterback and No. 102 overall player nationally "What I really took away from the visit was how everyone there wants to be great. They want you to be a great, all-around person. That makes a program very attractive." Christopher Vizzina

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