Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct 08, 2022

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

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44 OCT. 8, 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED FOOTBALL RECRUITING BY MIKE SINGER M ost of Notre Dame's commitments in the 2023 class have already played in several games to this point, which is enough time to recognize a few players who have stood out through the first quarter of the season. SULLIVAN ABSHER OT • 6-6, 295 BELMONT (N.C.) SOUTH POINT On3 Rankings: Four-star recruit, No. 3 player in North Carolina, and No. 7 offensive tackle and No. 58 overall player nationally. The Skinny: On3 updated its recruiting rankings for the 2023 class Sept. 19, and Absher moved up 19 spots in the top 100. His position as the nation's No. 7 offensive tackle didn't change, but his climb in the rankings regardless of position is an indica- tor of his success early on this fall. "We continue to be really impressed with his run blocking," On3 director of scouting and rankings Charles Power told Blue & Gold Illustrated. "He's one of — if not the — best run blockers in his class among offensive tackles, and it's a strong offensive line class nationally. He's moving up in the offen- sive line group. We're really impressed with how he's looked as a senior." JAIDEN AUSBERRY LB • 6-0½, 202 BATON ROUGE (LA.) UNIVERSITY LAB On3 Rankings: Four-star recruit, No. 9 player in Louisiana, and No. 17 linebacker and No. 202 overall player nationally. The Skinny: Ausberry moved up two spots in the linebacker rankings and 17 notches in the overall top-300 national list. He received the bump after just a couple games played, but Power felt that Aus- berry has taken a step from his junior to senior year. "Ausberry hasn't played as many games as other prospects because Louisiana started the season later, so we don't have as much to watch on him, but what we've seen has been impressive," Power noted. "He's playing fast and physical. You see im- provement with how quick he plays and his striking power compared to his junior year. "He's flying around and is a bright spot on his defense against good competition. He's impressive early on as a senior." DRAYK BOWEN LB • 6-1½, 215 MERRILLVILLE (IND.) ANDREAN On3 Rankings: Four-star recruit, No. 3 player in Indiana, and No. 18 linebacker and No. 207 overall player nationally. The Skinny: Bowen is a player who has consis- tently slid in rankings from the various websites, despite leading his high school team to an Indiana 2A state championship last year and winning the Gatorade Player of the Year award in The Hoosier State. He got a bump from On3 — up 27 spots nation- ally and two notches in the linebacker rankings — after Power and Co. received new data on him. "We didn't have a ton of verified measurables with Bowen. It was more of an unknown and older data," Power said. "Getting confirmed size and length for him helped. He's obviously a very good high school football player. It's a different line- backer cycle nationally. It's a little murky and that starts at the top. We're continuing to work on sorting out the position. "Ausberry has been impressive as a senior, and getting confirmed, up-to-date measurables that we liked on Bowen is why he moved up, too." Bowen has carried his high school team through five games, rushing for 368 yards with 6 touch- downs on 63 carries, plus adding 44 tackles (7 for loss), 2 sacks, 1 pass broken up, 1 fumble recovery, 1 forced fumble and 1 blocked punt. DYLAN EDWARDS RB • 5-8, 155 DERBY (KAN.) HIGH On3 Rankings: Four-star recruit, No. 2 player in Kansas and No. 19 running back nationally. The Skinny: Say what you will about high school football in the state of Kansas, but Edwards has been tearing it up. He could be on his way to earn- ing Gatorade Kansas Player of the Year honors for a second year in a row, too. He's rushed for 482 yards with 8 touchdowns on just 44 carries through three games. Edwards also scored on a kickoff return touchdown. He's also averaging 3 touchdowns per game. "In every setting, he's proven to be a game breaker on a consistent basis, and a lot of that has to do with his play speed," Power said. PRESTON ZINTER LB • 6-2½, 225 LAWRENCE (MASS.) CENTRAL CATHOLIC On3 Rankings: Three-star recruit, No. 7 player in Massachusetts and No. 50 linebacker nationally. The Skinny: in his first two games, Zinter totaled 27 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 pass broken up, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery and 1 interception. It should be noted that all three of Notre Dame's linebacker commits for the 2023 class are included in this article, which is great, because it's a position that has not excelled for the Irish early this season. "Zinter has good size as a linebacker prospect, and the coordination and athleticism to play on offense at the high school level typically bodes well," Power said. ✦ Five Irish Commits Are Off To Strong Senior Seasons Merrillville (Ind.) Andrean's Drayk Bowen saw a bump in On3's rankings and is now listed as the nation's No. 18 linebacker and No. 207 overall player. PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER

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