Blue and Gold Illustrated

June-July 2022

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

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32 JUNE/JULY 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED FOOTBALL RECRUITING BY MIKE SINGER G one are the days of Notre Dame hosting a mass of official visi- tors for game days during the sea- son or on the weekends leading up to National Signing Day. June is now that key period for the Irish. Don't get official visits confused with unofficial visits, though. There will still be massive recruit- ing weekends in the fall, but a majority of those trips will be for "unofficial" visits, which is when a prospect and his family pay their way to campus. An official visit is on the dime of the school for their 48-hour visit. It should also be noted that only prospects in the 2023 class can take official visits at this time. While it may seem like semantics, official visits are simply viewed as a bigger deal because they truly show how interested a prospect is in a school and vice versa. As things currently stand, Notre Dame is expected to have all of its ver- bally committed prospects on campus for their official visits in June. The big- gest recruiting weekend of the year for the Irish may be June 10-12, with more than a dozen official visitors due in. Of the recruits planning to visit that weekend, six are especially important to Notre Dame's 2023 class. Folsom (Calif.) High's Rico Flores Jr., the No. 39 wide receiver and No. 266 overall prospect nationally per On3, is considered a Notre Dame lean headed into the visit. B u rl i n g to n ( M a ss. ) B u c k i n g h a m Browne & Nichols School's Ronan Hanafin, On3's No. 16 athlete and No. 358 overall prospect in the land, will be on campus. The Irish could see his talents translating to wide receiver or safety. Notre Dame already has two offensive line commitments from the Carolinas and would love to land another in Mon- roe Freeling from Mount Pleasant (S.C.) Oceanside Collegiate Academy. He's the No. 5 offensive tackle and No. 38 overall player in the country according to On3. The top linebacker on the Notre Dame board hails from former Irish coach Brian Kelly's new backyard at LSU. Marcus Freeman and Co. will host Ba- ton Rouge (La.) University Lab's Jaiden Ausberry, On3's No. 14 linebacker and No. 171 overall player in America. This will be his third time on campus. Notre Dame does not currently have a cornerback commitment, but the staff would be fired up if it could land St. Louis De Smet's Christian Gray and/ or Tulsa (Okla.) Booker T. Washing- ton's Micah Tease. Gray is the No. 18 cornerback and No. 150 overall recruit nationally per On3, while Tease is the No. 15 cornerback and No. 126 overall prospect. Lehigh Acres (Fla.) Senior's Rich- ard Young, On3's No. 3 running back and No. 65 overall player in the coun- try, is expected to take a midweek of- ficial visit following the big weekend of June 10-12. Young had previously an- nounced a top seven group that didn't include the Irish, but seemingly out of the blue, the Irish became a contender for the 5-11, 199-pounder. The Irish also will have several major recruits on campus for the weekend of June 17-19. Two more important corner- back recruits will be on campus in Houston The Kinkaid School's Micah Bell, a three-star player and the No. 41 cornerback nationally per On3, plus Spanaway (Wash.) Lake's Jasiah Wagoner, the No. 26 corner and No. 255 overall prospect in America. The Irish seem to be closing in on a commitment from Austin (Texas) Westlake's Jaden Greathouse, On3's No. 32 wideout and No. 191 overall player nationally. His official visit could be the tipping point in favor of Notre Dame. On May 20, the Irish lost a com- mitment from Miami Christopher Columbus running back Sedrick Irvin Jr., leaving the Irish without a pledge at the position. It does seem that Notre Dame will sign two run- ning backs in the 2023 class, and St. Louis Christian Brothers' Jer- emiyah Love, the No. 5 ball carrier and No. 102 overall recruit in America per On3, will be on campus June 17. The Irish will also have a pair of line- backer targets who both attend Bra- denton (Fla.) IMG Academy in town June 17-19. Samuel M'Pemba, On3's No. 3 athlete and No. 103 overall player nationally, and Jordan Hall, the No. 28 linebacker in the land, will both be making the trek to South Bend. There may be more additions to Notre Dame's recruiting weekends, such as Rock Island (Ill.) Alleman's Charles Ja- gusah, On3's No. 1 offensive tackle and No. 7 overall prospect nationally. Detroit Martin Luther King's Dante Moore, On3's No. 5 quarterback and No. 45 overall recruit in America, is also supposed to visit campus. We be- lieve both players are looking at visiting around the weekend of June 17-19. Entering the last week in May, Phoe- nix Pinnacle's Elijah Paige, a three-star player and the No. 31 offensive tackle in the land according to On3, was the only prospect expected to officially visit for the weekend of June 3-5. ✦ Notre Dame Set For Massive Official Visitor Month In June Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy's Samuel M'Pemba, the No. 3 athlete and No. 103 overall recruit nationally according to On3, is expected to officially visit Notre Dame in June. PHOTO COURTESY ON3.COM

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