Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 26, 2022*

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

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42 NOV. 26, 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED FOOTBALL RECRUITING BY MIKE SINGER S aline (Mich.) High finished 8‑3 this season which included a first‑round playoff win before fall‑ ing to Belleville (Mich.) High, who came into the game ranked as the top overall team in the state of Michigan per High School Football America. Notre Dame class of 2024 quar‑ terback commit CJ Carr had an out‑ standing season for the Saline Hor‑ nets, completing 222 of 326 passes (68.1 percent) for 2,685 yards with 26 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. On the ground, he ran 70 times for 221 yards and 7 scores. "It was an up‑and‑down season," Carr told Blue & Gold Illustrated. "There were some struggles but a lot of great moments. Two losses in the middle of the season were hard for me and my team, but bounc‑ ing back and ending how we did is something that we're proud of." Saline returns many key offen‑ sive players for next season's team, including three‑star class of 2024 tight end Dylan Mesman. "I'm really excited for my senior season," Carr said. "We ended on such a good note that will keep pushing everyone forward. I'm excited to see our offensive line continue to grow, and we have some really good, young receivers. I'm ready to play. I know the season just ended, but I want to get in the weight room and work this offseason." Carr has plans on how he'll improve his game to take it to another level over the next several months. "Definitely hitting the weight room will be a big thing this offseason, and also, I'll probably head down to Florida to train," he said. Carr, who committed to the Irish over the summer, has taken a couple trips to Notre Dame this fall, experiencing games on opposite ends of the spectrum. The Irish falling to Stanford was certainly a low point of the 2022 season, while beat‑ ing a previously unbeaten No. 4 Clemson team was the complete opposite. "I've been up there twice for game‑ day experiences this fall, and hopefully I'll be up there for the Boston College game, too," Carr said. "The first two games were great. I know the Stanford game didn't turn out the way we wanted it to, but getting to be around all the re‑ cruits and commits was amazing. "And I can't talk enough about the Clemson game. It was amazing. Rush‑ ing the field was unbelievable. It was Coach [Marcus] Freeman's biggest win, but it won't be his last big win. This is just the start of the 'Freeman Era.'" Carr made a custom hoodie specifi‑ cally to wear for the Stanford game. The image on the hoodie is a graphic that says "Fantastic 4 Change is coming" on it with visit photos of four Notre Dame recruits from St. Louis. Earlier in the day, St. Louis Christian Brothers running back Jeremiyah Love committed, joining De Smet Jesuit cornerback Christian Gray in the 2023 class. Both were on the hoodie along with 2024 wide re‑ ceiver targets Jeremiah McClellan and Ryan Wingo. It's that level of attention to de‑ tail that shows just how good of a "commit recruiter" that Carr is. "Starting those relationships is something that's really important to me," he said. "That's been the goal — getting around as many great recruits as I can." Carr was fired up to see Cincin‑ nati Archbishop Moeller class of 2024 cornerback Karson Hobbs flip his commitment from South Carolina to Notre Dame. Hobbs is commit No. 7 for the Irish in next year's class. "Getting Karson committed af‑ ter the Clemson game was a really big for us," Carr said. "That's a big win. If we keep pushing forward, we'll hopefully have a top class in 2024, too." Carr is rock solid with his com‑ mitment to the Fighting Irish. "I've always had a good relation‑ ship with Coach [Tommy] Rees, and that's only continued to grow while I've been committed. I'm starting re‑ lationships with other coaches, like Coach [Chansi] Stuckey." There were months of speculation re‑ garding whether Carr would reclassify from the 2024 to 2023 class, but that has been put to bed. Carr remains as a high school junior, but he will skip his final semester of high school in the spring of 2024 to enroll early at Notre Dame. He wants to get a head start on his college career by participating in Notre Dame's 2024 spring ball. "Those reps and starting to learn the offense are really important," he said. Carr is On3's No. 12 quarterback and No. 138 overall player nationally in the 2024 class. He committed to Notre Dame in June over Michigan, Michigan State, Georgia, Wisconsin and others. ✦ Notre Dame 2024 Quarterback Commit CJ Carr Embraces His Role As An Irish Recruiter Saline (Mich.) High's CJ Carr, who is On3's No. 12 quarterback and No. 138 overall player nationally in the 2024 class, accounted for 2,906 yards of total offense and 33 touchdowns during his junior season. PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER

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