Blue and Gold Illustrated

March 2022

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

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80 MARCH 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED 2022 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE BY MIKE SINGER N otre Dame's 2022 class had 21 high school signees, which is about what we expected when we looked ahead at the cycle for last year's football recruit- ing issue. For the 2023 cycle, the feeling is that the Fighting Irish will take a full boat of right around 25 players, but it's very early to project exactly where things will stand in December for the early signing period. There will be more movement on the Notre Dame roster this spring and into the fall that will affect numbers in the 2023 class. The following is a breakdown of who is committed, who the top targets are and how many players are expected at each position for the Irish in the 2023 class. All rankings are per the On3 Consen- sus, a complete and equally weighted industry-generated average that uti- lizes all four major recruiting media companies. QUARTERBACK Committed: 0 Projected Take: 1-2 Synopsis: As always, quarterback is a crucial position for Notre Dame, and the Irish are swinging for the fences in the 2023 class. Detroit Martin Luther King's Dante Moore, the nation's No. 4 passer and No. 17 overall player, looks to be the top target on the board. Notre Dame's chances to land the elite prospect may have improved with offseason turmoil at Michigan, and the in-state Spartans have already added a quarterback pledge but plan to still recruit Moore. He's built a strong connection with Irish offensive coordinator Tommy Rees and has vis- ited campus a few times already. "It's a great school and a winning program," Moore said about Notre Dame. "Coach [Brian] Kelly leaving was a big impact for sure, but they told me that Coach [Marcus] Freeman is going to lead the troops. I'm going to believe in him. He's going to do his thing, and I can't wait to see what they have in the future." Birmingham (Ala.) Briarwood Chris- tian's Christopher Vizzina, the No. 9 quarterback and No. 99 overall pros- pect in the land, seems to be mulling between Clemson and Notre Dame but has a handful of other programs after him, too. Downey (Calif.) Warren's Nico Iama- leava, a five-star prospect, and the No. 3 quarterback and No. 11 overall player in the land, is still on the board but is seen as more of a long shot. The Irish offered Maize (Kan.) High's Avery Johnson, the No. 11 quarterback and No. 185 overall prospect in the country, last summer, but he is lower on the board than the other three recruits mentioned. It certainly seems that the Notre Dame has zeroed in on Moore and Vizzina, and losing out on both would set the board back a bit. Conversely, landing either would be a huge boost for the Irish. Securing a big-time quarterback prospect early in the cycle would help Notre Dame recruit top- flight receivers. We have the projected take at 1-2 be- cause we won't rule out the Irish taking two signal-callers in the class, but cur- rently, it's more likely Notre Dame has just one quarterback signee in 2023. RUNNING BACK Committed: 1 Projected Take: 1-2 Synopsis: Notre Dame landed a pledge last fall from Miami Christopher Columbus' Sedrick Irvin Jr., the nation's No. 22 running back and No. 311 overall prospect. It was an impressive recruit- ing victory for the Irish to pull Irvin out of South Florida. Even after running backs coach Lance Taylor left for Louisville, Irvin affirmed that he was locked in with his Irish commitment. He visited at the end of January and had a great time in South Bend, even though Notre Dame didn't have a running backs coach in place at the time. "It was an overall great vibe," Irvin said. "It was pretty much perfect. I can't think of anything they could've done better for us for the visit. "I always had my mind set on where I want to go, and I don't see that changing." While it's possible Notre Dame just sticks with one high school running back in the 2023 cycle, it seems more likely that the Irish and new position coach Deland McCullough will add a second tailback. Roswell (Ga.) Blessed Trinity Catho- lic's Justice Haynes, the nation's No. 3 running back and No. 43 overall player, has been at the top of the Irish ball car- rier wish list for a while, but he's likely to stay in the South. Notre Dame also is trying to make up ground with Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater's Cedric Baxter Jr., the No. 4 running back and No. 60 overall prospect in the land. The Irish had coaches out to see him multiple times in January. Lake Stevens (Wash.) High's Jayden Limar, the No. 18 running back and No. 257 overall recruit nationally, is high on Notre Dame. He is a prospect to watch for the Irish. The most likely running back addition is Arthur (Ill.) Senior's Kaden Feagin, the nation's No. 11 linebacker and No. 164 A Look Ahead At The Class Of 2023 Detroit Martin Luther King's Dante Moore, the nation's No. 4 passer and No. 17 overall player, is a crucial target for Notre Dame in the 2023 class. PHOTO BY EJ HOLLAND

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