Blue and Gold Illustrated

March 2022

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

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44 MARCH 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED 2022 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE BY ASHTON POLLARD T he 2022 Notre Dame football re- cruiting class is complete, barring any late additions this spring. Ac- cording to On3 Consensus, a com- plete and equally weighted industry-gen- erated average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies, it currently sits as the No. 6 class in the nation with 17 four-stars and four three-stars. On3's own rankings have the Irish with two five-star prospects in linebacker Jaylen Sneed (No. 26 nationally) and of- fensive tackle Aamil Wagner (No. 29). The group has 21 incoming freshmen from 17 states, a sure sign that the Irish continue to pull in prospects nationally. Notre Dame typically attracts relatively elite athletes, but there is a constant nar- rative about "closing the gap" with the very top of college football. Is this in- coming class a step in that direction? We asked the On3 experts what they think. BGI: What are your general impres- sions on Notre Dame's recruiting class? How does it stack up against the other elites in the country? On3 director of scouting and rankings Charles Power: "I really like what Notre Dame did in the 2022 cycle for the most part. The class was track- ing as one of the better groups of the Brian Kelly era prior to his departure for LSU. Marcus Freeman and the remain- ing staffers were able to keep it largely intact and finish with On3's No. 6 class. "I think this class is at or near the top of the second tier of college football's elite — trailing only Alabama, Geor- gia, Ohio State and, in this cycle, Texas A&M and Texas." On3 director of recruiting Chad Simmons: "I think this is a very good class for Notre Dame. I like the balance. I believe it is 10 on offense, 10 on de- fense and a punter in this class. The big- gest difference from other elite classes ahead of the Irish in the team rankings is the number of five-stars. "It will be interesting to see if Freeman can add a few more in the next cycle." Blue & Gold Illustrated recruiting reporter Mike Singer: "Notre Dame's 2022 class entered National Signing Day 2.0 with the No. 6 class in America per the On3 Consensus Team Recruiting Ranking, which is the highest for the Irish since 2013 (No. 4). "While Notre Dame itself is recruiting at a higher level, other programs' keep reaching new heights, too. The Irish 2022 class is very good, but it still feels like there's a 'next level' recruiting cali- ber that Freeman can take the program." National recruiting analyst Sam Spiegelman: "In any given cycle, Notre Dame's 2022 class would impress. How- ever, given that the Irish successfully transitioned from Kelly to Freeman and signed the nation's No. 6 class with an 81-percent blue-chips ratio, it is a mas- sive accomplishment." BGI: Which Notre Dame signees could you see having an instant impact? Power: "I'll go with running back Jadarian Price for a few reasons. Run- ning back is usually the easiest position to make an impact as a freshman. Notre Dame is also looking to replace Kyren Williams who is off to the NFL after a really nice career in South Bend." Simmons: "I really like Jaylen Sneed. For me, he is an SEC-type linebacker going to play in South Bend. He has a great frame, he can run, he can blitz, and he can stay on the field all three downs. "I was able to see him live multiple times over the last few years, and he always impressed me." Singer: "There are three types of play- ers who see the field as true freshman, in my estimation: there's the one who is too Offensive tackle Aamil Wagner (above) is one of two Fighting Irish signees to earn five-star status from On3, with the other being linebacker Jaylen Sneed. PHOTO BY MIKE SINGER CLIMBING THE RANKS On3 football recruiting experts break down Notre Dame's 2022 class

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