Blue and Gold Illustrated

March 2022

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

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2022 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE BY MIKE SINGER Aamil Wagner had quite the interest- ing journey to become an On3 five-star prospect. He entered high school at 6-4, 180 pounds and played receiver as a freshman. He moved to of- fensive line as a sophomore and added about 40 pounds to his frame. Going into his ju- nior year, he stood at about 240 pounds and finished up as a se- nior at 260. He still has a way to go to put on the weight needed to play offensive line at Notre Dame, but a big part of why he isn't around 300 pounds already is because of the conditioning the Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne football program does, plus the fact that Wagner plays basket- ball and competes in track and field. "We run, run, run," Wagner said. "Especially with me, be- cause our coaches knew that I'm not the average lineman. I was run- ning with the wide receivers. When I get to college and play at that level, it'll be easy for me to gain weight." Wagner has quite the impressive fam- ily background, as his three older sib- lings all played (or currently play) col- lege sports and even has an uncle who was an All-American in soccer. "Everything is we do is competitive — monopoly, basketball, anything we get our hands on," Wagner said of his fam- ily. "It's always competitive." It was a surprise when Wag- ner committed to Notre Dame, as most pundits believed that he'd head to Kentucky, the football program where his brother is on the coaching staff. After Brian Kelly left for LSU, Ahmad thought about his younger sibling first and his job second. "A h m a d wa s l e ss b i a se d than I thought he'd be," Wag- ner said. "He just let me use him as a resource. He told me what Kentucky had to offer but didn't want to sway me any particular direction. "He did text me to ask how I was feeling about the news but it wasn't an attempt to recruit me to Kentucky." ✦ Aamil Wagner Comes From A Family Of College Athletes Wagner isn't your typical five-star lineman, and with his family background of athletes there's no telling where his potential will take him. PHOTO COURTESY ON3.COM BLUEGOLDONLINE.COM MARCH 2022 73 AAMIL WAGNER OFFENSIVE TACKLE 6-6 · 260 WAYNE H.S. YELLOW SPRINGS, OHIO RANKINGS STARS NAT. POS. STATE consensus ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 78 8 4 ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 29 3 3 ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 112 15 6 ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 125 12 7 ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 123 11 7 NOTABLE • Born on Oct. 7, 2003. • 2022 All-American Bowl participant. • 2022 Polynesian Bowl participant. • 2021 MaxPreps All-Great Lakes Region first- team offense. • 2020 and 2021 Division I All-Ohio first-team offense. • His oldest sibling, Ameer, played linebacker for Texas Southern. • His brother Ahmad played basketball at Iowa before transferring to Kentucky to play football. Cur- rently a graduate assistant coach for the Wildcats. • His sister Amani is a track and field athlete for Kentucky State. • From the same high school as Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman and cornerbacks coach Mike Mickens. RECRUITMENT • Committed to Notre Dame on Nov. 11, 2021. • Will enroll at Notre Dame this summer. • Picked Notre Dame over finalists Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio State and Penn State. • Was expected to commit to Kentucky but shocked the nation with his Irish pledge. • Recruited by Freeman, Mickens and former offensive line coach Jeff Quinn. • Officially visited Notre Dame in June and De- cember 2021. 2022 PROJECTION • Wagner is likely to redshirt as a true freshman in 2021. THEY SAID IT On3 scouting report: "High-upside offensive tackle with a developmental body type along with top-notch athleticism and play strength. Owns a lean build at 6-foot-6, 260 pounds. Has good length with 34-inch arms to go with large hands. Has the frame to hold 300-plus pounds. "One of the stronger offensive linemen in the 2022 cycle despite being 50 to 100 pounds lighter than many of his peers. Regularly finishes blocks by putting defensive linemen on the ground. Pos- sesses significant upper body and core strength, which is validated by his background as an elite thrower in track and field. "Has light feet and moves to the second level with ease. Capable of running to block screens as far out as the boundary. Will need at least one year in Notre Dame's strength program and training table. Also needs to develop his pass set technique as he has primarily been getting by off of athleti- cism and physical tools to this point." Blue & Gold Illustrated analyst Tim Hyde: "He's an athlete. He needs to put a lot more weight on, but he's tall and he's an athlete. He can strike, move and is very athletic. "He's a 100 percent tackle prospect, which Notre Dame needs more of. He doesn't have the size of Blake Fisher, but who does?" National recruiting analyst Tom Lemming: "He has such a lengthy build that he looks like he could gain another 50 pounds. He certainly has the length, long arms and quick hands that you look for in a left tackle. Agile and a natural knee bender, he slides along the line effortlessly, showing the good lateral speed and body control that you look for in a tackle. "Wagner is very powerful in the legs and difficult to move once he drops anchor. He has the heavy hands and long arms to control pass rushers. He just seems to have a good feel for the position, plays with a high IQ and may just be the most ath- letic tackle prospect in the country."

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