Blue and Gold Illustrated

March 2022

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

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48 MARCH 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED 2022 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE BY MIKE SINGER Bergen Catholic went into the New Jersey Non-Public A State Tournament last November with an undefeated re- cord and top-five national ranking per MaxPreps on the line. The Crusaders faced off against archrival Don Bosco Prep — two powerhouse programs that are very familiar with each other and already played earlier in the season. Notre Dame quarterback signee Steve Angeli completed 9 of 14 passes for 100 yards with one touchdown in the 28-7 win for Bergen Catholic. His numbers weren't gaudy. What didn't show up in the stat sheet was him leading the troops and helping his coaching staff win the chess match at the line of scrimmage. Based on Ber- gen Catholic's alignment, Don Bosco Prep's defense would expect a certain play and overload on that side to stop it. "Bergen's coaches were waiting to see Bosco's defense, and then were coming in with a call late," said Angeli's private quarterbacks coach Matt Bastardi, who coached the Irish gunslinger for the past decade. "Every once in a while, Bergen would have to use a time out, but you saw Steve directing everything at the line. "Players were asking for the call, and Steve was telling his guys to wait, got the play from the sideline, tells some- thing to his offensive line, looks back and communicates with his running backs, make a gesture out to the receiv- ers and quickly runs the play. I can't tell you how many times that happened with under six seconds left on the play clock. Every time, Steve handled it. "He didn't get up or down — didn't get excited or nervous. It was pretty cool to see. That's what you want and need in your leader." Angeli is an Under Armour All-Amer- ican who held scholarship offers from LSU, Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State and many others. Regardless of recruiting rankings, Angeli — who had a 17-1 record as a high school start- ing quarterback — is a decorated signal- caller. But it's not the physical traits that are his top quality. It's the mental compo- nent that makes Angeli different. "He's very level in his demeanor at all times," Bastardi said. "It's an internal thing in his persona. I've known him for a long time, and he's never gotten riled up during workouts. He goes along with things. "If he's to miss a throw, there's no negative overreaction. He flushes it and forgets it. That's one of those things that it rarely shows up at a combine. He's a coach on the field and doesn't lose focus and concentration. He's been like that since I've known him." CALM, COOL AND COLLECTED To not have anything faze you is an uncommon trait. In analyzing how An- geli got to this point, it all starts with his family. His parents, Janos and Stefanie, did a great job raising him. Steve's two older brothers, Jack and Nick, were key figures for him, too. "Being a third child, Steve had this extra sensory perception of what was going on around him," Janos Angeli said. "His older brothers were great. Some brothers will wrestle and beat each other up; our boys weren't into that. "Part of this is Steve being the young- est and looking up to them and seeing them doing their sports and succeeding. He figured out the outcomes in sports and that things aren't personal." There's not a position on the field that's more criticized than the quar- terback, but from a young age, Angeli learned to not let those things affect him. "He does not take things personally," Stefanie Angeli stated. YIN AND YANG Angeli welcomes the limelight but never gets a big head. He's very com- petitive but has a healthy understanding of moving on after a big win or crushing defeat. Angeli also is very confident in his abilities but won't get cocky. A lot of credit goes to Nick and Jack in terms of how Angeli is wired. "He's very close to his older brothers, and they played a lot of sports together," Bastardi explained. "When you're con- fident in what you can do — and I don't mean that in a braggadocios way — that goes along with handling things with a proper demeanor. Since a young age, he's been a very good athlete." Nick played four seasons at Ford- Always Poised, Steve Angeli Brings Winning Intangibles At Quarterback Angeli (middle), an Under Armour All-American, led Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic to a state title and top- five national ranking. He learned his calm demeanor from his older brothers, Jack (left) and Nick (right). PHOTO COURTESY ANGELI FAMILY

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