Blue and Gold Illustrated

Preseason 2023

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

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50 PRESEASON 2023 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED FOOTBALL RECRUITING BY MIKE SINGER Notre Dame worked quietly to pull off a flip in the 2024 class. There was no an- nouncement of an offer. No commitment ceremony. Just a good old-fashioned flip. On July 21, Salinas (Calif.) Palma wide receiver Logan Saldate announced that he was switching his commitment from Oregon State to Notre Dame. The Irish had three receiver commits in the 2024 class, but Warner Robins (Ga.) High's Isiah Canion flipped to Georgia Tech in early July. Notre Dame evaluated what to do next, and it landed on pursuing Saldate. The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder is ranked as a consensus three-star prospect. While he's not rated highly — at least for now — he did hold offers from Arizona, California, Oklahoma State, Washing- ton and Washington State. "I'll play slot at Notre Dame," Sal- date told Blue & Gold Illustrated. "They know what they're getting in me, and I'm excited to show them even more of what I'm capable of." And Saldate is looking to show the Irish faithful that he's far more than what his ranking suggests. "You guys are going to see; I'm a hid- den gem," he said. "They'll see when I'm on campus, and I'll show them what I've got." There were a couple dozen receiver prospects or so that Notre Dame looked at for its opening in the 2024 class, and Saldate is a prospect the staff examined closely from the jump. "A couple weeks [before my commit- ment], Coach [Chad] Bowden followed me on Instagram — that was the first point of contact," Saldate explained. "It all went from there. It was small talk at first, and I didn't think much of it because I thought my recruiting process was over. "I was comfortable with Oregon State. But when I got deeper into talking to all the coaches and really considering it, I talked to my parents about it and made the decision." There was a turning point where Sal- date went from a player the staff was interested in to one they made a top pri- ority. The staff asked Saldate and sev- eral other class of 2024 wide receivers to send in video of them running the entire Irish route tree and a 40-yard dash. "That's when it really turned," Saldate said. "They believed I was the guy for them." In this short timeframe that Notre Dame has been recruiting Saldate, he built a strong connection with the Irish coaches. "I talked to Coach [Gerad] Parker, Coach [Chansi] Stuckey and Coach [Marcus] Freeman, and they were get- ting to know me. It was less football and more family talk," Saldate explained. "They wanted to make sure my family and I are good people. I got on FaceTime with Coach Freeman, and he said I have an offer on the table. "When it all started, I talked to my parents, and we decided that if it comes through, then we had to take Notre Dame into consideration — just for the simple fact that it's Notre Dame with the connections after football, educa- tion and all that type of stuff. "They do a great job. They make me feel welcomed. I'm also in contact with the 2024 commits, and I know Cooper [Flanagan] and Rico [Flores Jr.]. My family and I feel comfortable." Saldate has yet to visit Notre Dame and, in a perfect world, he would have taken a trip out to campus before mak- ing this decision. He's not able to visit until September at the earliest, and nei- ther party wanted to wait that long for a commitment to take place. "On my part, I wanted to get it over with," Saldate explained. "These past few weeks have been super stressful with flipping and what I'd tell Oregon State. I've been losing sleep, so I wanted to get it over with. I'll take my official for their first home game." In 10 games in 2022, Saldate caught 54 passes for 713 yards and 9 touchdowns according to MaxPreps. He added 114 yards and 2 scores on the ground. He plays defense as well and had an interception he returned for a touchdown last year. In April, Saldate was clocked at 10.82 in the 100-meter dash. He also was recorded at 24 feet, 5 inches in the long jump. He was named to the 2022 Pacific Coast Athletic League Gabilan Division first-team offense and was the Co-Of- fensive Player of the Year. ✦ Notre Dame Flips Wide Receiver From Pac-12 School FILM ANALYSIS "It's a nice get for Notre Dame. He's athletic, and I was really surprised by his film. He uses his body really well, plays with outstanding leverage and has some really good burst with the ball in the open field. This is a good get for a No. 3 receiver in this class. "His area doesn't have the greatest high school football, but his team is really good. He's put up some really good numbers, and I really like his ability." — Blue & Gold Illustrated football analyst Tim Hyde COMMITMENT PROFILE LOGAN SALDATE As a junior, Saldate (pictured with dad Jimmy) had 54 catches for 713 yards and 9 touchdowns over 10 games. PHOTO COURTESY JIMMY SALDATE

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