Blue and Gold Illustrated

October 28, 2023

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

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52 OCT. 28, 2023 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED PREP PROFILES Aside from frustrating hotel reser- vation issues, Winston-Salem (N.C.) Mount Tabor class of 2025 safety JaDon Blair enjoyed his latest visit to Notre Dame that occurred when Notre Dame battled Ohio State Sept. 23. "I was really looking forward to the game — seeing the team and light show," Blair told Blue & Gold Illustrated. "From what I got to see, I really enjoyed it. The atmosphere and the fan love, it was great. I liked it a lot. "Their fan base is loyal and loud. I also noticed just how zoned in the players were on the game. Even when they were down, no one dropped t h e i r h e a d s a n d thought the game was over. They brought the intensity." Blair first visited Notre Dame at the end of July, which took place three months after pick- ing up an offer from the Fighting Irish. He's been keeping in close contact with Notre Dame, and the four-star prospect felt the love from them in South Bend a couple weeks ago. " I go t to ta l k to Coa c h [C h r i s ] O'Leary a lot," Blair said. "He's super excited about me; every time he sees me, he reminds me about it. He sees me developing in their program and getting me better. "And getting to talk to Coach [Mar- cus] Freeman, he'd love to see me in his program as well. He texts me a lot and says how I'm welcome any time up there. That's big to me. Coach Free- man is in contact with me more than all the other head coaches." It's early in Blair's re c r u i t m e n t , b u t Notre Dame has positioned itself well for him. "Oh yeah, definitely," he said. "If I had a top 10 or top five, I would defi- nitely put Notre Dame in there." Blair recognizes that he's likely to p i c k u p m o re sc h o l a rs h i ps, so h e doesn't want to rush his recruiting process. "The coaches who came after me early, they have a huge advantage," Blair noted. "But I want to communi- cate with new coaches and learn about their programs." Blair plans to take official visits prior to his senior year and commit next July. — Mike Singer "He texts me a lot and says how I'm welcome any time up there. … Coach Freeman is in contact with me more than all the other head coaches." BLAIR Scottsdale (Ariz.) Notre Dame Prepa- ratory 2025 wide receiver Cooper Per- ry's first visit to South Bend was back in March, a week after picking up an offer from the Fighting Irish. He returned to campus six months later when Notre Dame hosted Ohio State. His favorite part of the visit? The people on Notre Dame's campus. "It was great to be back and see ev- eryone in person," he said. "That was really the best part. I got to catch up with Coach [Marcus] Freeman, Coach [Gerad] Parker and Coach [Chansi] Stuckey, plus the recruiting staff I was with the whole time — Carter Auman, Dre Brown and Chad Bowden." During offseason visits, there are many more opportunities for sit-down, in-depth conversations between re- cruits and college coaches. It doesn't happen as much during game-day visits, but still, Perry had productive conversations with the Irish coaches during his trip. "They're all pushing the same mes- sage; they want Notre Dame to feel like home for me," Perry said. "That's im- portant to me, and that stood out to me." Notre Dame dropped the contest against the Buckeyes in dramatic fash- ion, but that didn't have an impact on Perry's experience in South Bend. "Regardless of the score, that was one of the best games I've ever been to. I was pumped," Perry said. "It did not disappoint. It was the only game I circled that was out of state. The atmo- sphere was crazy. I was really excited to see all that." He also got to meet Irish class of 2025 quarterback pledge Deuce Knight from Lucedale (Miss.) George County for the first time during the visit. "I talked with Deuce Knight, and he was pumped up about the program and what's going on with Notre Dame," Perry added. "It was good to see his excitement. "He's obviously a big-time prospect. He's a dude and a baller. He texted me a day after he committed. Having a quar- terback recruit like that commit to the school is awesome." Perry picked up an offer from Ole Miss Sept. 25, bringing his offer total to 19 in total. He's looking at visiting the in-state schools the rest of the fall. "A lot of schools have reached out," Perry said of his recruitment. "It's been crazy. A lot of them came in after that Notre Dame offer, and it's been wild." — Mike Singer Elite 2025 Safety Breaks Down South Bend Visit Arizona Wideout Recaps Return Trip To Notre Dame JADON BLAIR ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ Mount Tabor H.S. Winston-Salem, N.C. Status: Offered Class: 2025 Position: Safety Ht.: 6-4 • Wt.: 180 On3 Rankings: No. 3 player in North Carolina, and No. 2 safety and No. 26 overall player nationally COOPER PERRY ✪ ✪ ✪ Notre Dame Preparatory Scottsdale, Ariz. Status: Offered Class: 2025 Position: Wide receiver Ht.: 6-1 • Wt.: 185 On3 Rankings: No. 2 player in Arizona and No. 48 wide receiver nationally

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