Blue and Gold Illustrated

August 2022

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

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BLUEGOLDONLINE.COM AUGUST 2022 35 BY MIKE SINGER It came down to a final four of Ari- zona, Michigan, Notre Dame and Ore- gon for Lake Stevens (Wash.) High class of 2023 running back Jayden Limar, and the Fighting Irish won out. "It was the relationship that I built with the coaches and the atmosphere that they have there," Limar said. "It was the perfect fit for me. "A lot of coaches that you come in contact with treat it all as business, and there's no personal part. But Notre Dame made it clear that they care more about the person than the football player. That was a big thing to me." Limar publicly announced his com- mitment to Notre Dame May 26, but he told the Irish staff several weeks be- fore — even prior to visiting for the Blue-Gold Game April 23 — that he would be choosing their school. He first informed Notre Dame director of recruiting Chad Bowden of his decision and then spoke with head coach Marcus Freeman, run- ning backs coach Deland McCullough and offensive coordinator Tommy Rees. "They were all ecstatic," Limar recalled. "Coach Freeman was caught off guard. He had no idea that's what I was calling him about. He thought we were just checking in. "They all thought I was going to come out there and see cam- pus one more time, but when I knew it was going to be Notre Dame, I wanted to make sure they knew that right away." There's quite a big difference between keeping a private com- mitment between just a recruit and coaching staff compared with going public with your de- cision. Limar could have waited a bit longer and returned to South Bend for his official visit June 10 before announcing his choice to make sure it was the right fit. "I didn't see any benefit in waiting," he explained. "At the end of the day, I felt like it was going to be Notre Dame. The recruiting process started getting stressful for me. I was ready to make something happen, so I did." Gone are the days in Notre Dame re- cruiting where a top Irish target would communicate with one or maybe two members of the coaching staff. In Li- mar's recruitment, it was a four- pronged attack between Bowden, Free- man, McCullough and Rees. "Marcus Freeman definitely put them in the lead for me," Limar stated. "How much he was contacting me as a head coach is something you don't see very often. I was talking to him a ridiculous amount. It was really cool to see that he was making me a priority. "And then Coach Mc C u l l o u g h go t there — we clicked in such a short time. It just felt right, and I knew I wanted him to be my coach. "Coach Chad and I would talk on the phone at least once a week, and I like him a lot. He brings a different aspect to Notre Dame. Usually when you talk to recruiters there's the basic rundown, but Chad gives you the real. We've built a great relationship. "Coach Rees is a really smart dude. We could talk football all day. I defi- nitely have a great relationship with him." Limar reportedly ran a 4.53 laser- timed 40-yard dash at the National Preps Showcase March 12 and was also named running back MVP at the camp. He helped lead Lake Stevens to an un- defeated regular season in 2021, but his team fell in the 4A state championship game. Limar amassed 1,918 yards from scrimmage and 25 scores on his way to earning 2021 all-area first-team of- fense from The Herald in Everett, Wash. He totaled 1,549 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns, plus 369 yards and 4 receiving scores. He also had a kickoff return touchdown. On3 lists the 5-11, 190-pound Limar as a three-star recruit, the No. 4 prospect in Washing- ton and the No. 29 running back nationally. According to the On3 Consensus — a complete and equally weighted industry- generated average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies — Limar is a four- star talent, the No. 3 recruit in Washington, and the No. 15 running back and No. 289 over- all player in the country. Limar's younger brother Jay- shon Limar is a class of 2025 running back who has already earned an offer from Arizona. ✦ Limar, the No. 15 running back and No. 289 overall player in the country per the On3 Consensus, selected the Irish over Arizona, Michigan and Oregon. PHOTO BY MIKE SINGER COMMITMENT PROFILE JAYDEN LIMAR Relationships Lead West Coast Running Back To Pick Notre Dame FILM ANALYSIS "Jayden Limar has a well-rounded skill set at running back and had a productive junior year at Lake Stevens. Limar is shifty — he shows the ability to tempo his runs and change gears at the line of scrimmage and the second level. Limar brings some versatility as a pass catcher and is effective as a target in the screen and short passing game. He has solid speed with a 11.23 100-meter time and a 4.55 40-yard dash. "Stylistically, Limar might remind Notre Dame fans some of Kyren Williams, and I could see him being used in a similar fashion in Tommy Rees' offense." — On3 director of scouting and rankings Charles Power "Marcus Freeman definitely put them in the lead for me. How much he was contact- ing me as a head coach is something you don't see very often. I was talking to him a ridiculous amount. It was really cool to see that he was making me a priority." LIMAR

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