Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2024

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 37 of 47

38 FEBRUARY 2024 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY MIKE SINGER Notre Dame welcomed 23 high school recruits as part of its football program when the 2024 early signing period opened Dec. 20. On the following day, the Irish staff reminded us all that there are truly no days off in recruiting. Wallingford (Conn.) Choate Rose- mary Hall offensive tackle Will Black announced his commitment to Notre Dame Dec. 21, giving the Irish an im- pressive four-star pledge to add to its double-digit list of verbal commitments in the 2025 class. Black visited campus in June and participated in the Notre Dame Line- man's Challenge camp. The result of his efforts was an offer from the Fight- ing Irish. With his team playing on Sat- urdays, Black was unable to get out to South Bend for a game day in the fall. But he did get out to campus the week- end of Dec. 16 to watch a couple prac- tices and hang out with the coaches. He previously told Blue & Gold Illus- trated that he didn't have a specific deci- sion timeline. It was all based off "feel." "It's a combination of a few things," Black noted. "My relationship with the coaches is the best compared to any other school, plus meeting the players — the culture in the O-line room is great. I feel like I can fit in there really well. "There's a combination of great foot- ball — especially sending offensive line- men to the NFL — and great academ- ics. A Notre Dame degree is one of the best in the country. It's the right fit for me, and it's where I'll grow the best as a football player and student." Black didn't go into the visit planning to commit to Notre Dame. It clearly wasn't something that was off the table, but it wasn't his expectation. However, every- thing went so well during the trip that after the Echoes Award Show Dec. 16, he informed the staff of his decision. "I was saying goodbye to Coach [Mar- cus] Freeman and Coach [Joe] Rudolph, which is when I told them," Black said. "They were really fired up. They were hugging me and were super excited." Black further detailed his time in South Bend. "It was great," he said. "I loved see- ing the coaches, catching up with them and learning more about Notre Dame. A highlight of the trip was watching them practice. I got to watch the walkthrough on Friday and practice on Saturday. "It was really good to see how Coach Rudolph coaches. I loved talking with Coach Rudolph and watching film with him, plus talking with Coach Freeman." The four-star prospect is fired up at the idea of playing for Rudolph. "I think he's a master on the offensive line. He knows what he's talking about," Black said. "He knows how to coach re- ally well and can develop guys into the NFL. "We went over my film, and he coached me up. He told me what I'm good at and really thinks I'm a great fit for Notre Dame." Black had good conversations with his future head coach as well. "We caught up on family, and he went over why I'd be a great fit for Notre Dame and all that the program has to offer with football and outside of foot- ball," Black recalled. His other finalists were Alabama, Michigan and Penn State. He held scholarship offers from 17 more pro- grams as well. The 6-7, 285-pounder is the No. 14 offensive tackle and No. 202 overall player nationally according to On3. Black became Notre Dame's 11th commitment of the 2025 class, which is nearly half the tally of what the Irish signed in the 2024 class. Black is the first offensive line commit in the 2025 cycle. For his efforts during his junior sea- son in 2023, Black was named the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) Lineman of the Year. He was also named the Founders League Lineman of the Year and was listed on the All-Founders first-team offense. Black, who is a native of London, On- tario, reports a 6-foot-10 wingspan and a 5.16 time in the 40-yard dash. He was a key part in leading Choate Rosemary Hall to an undefeated 9-0 season and a NEPSAC championship. ✦ Irish Land Commitment From 2025 Four-Star Offensive Tackle COMMITMENT PROFILE WILL BLACK FILM ANALYSIS "He's a big dude, listed at 6-foot-7 and al- most a 7-0 wingspan. That's an offensive line coach's dream — to have that leverage. Notre Dame beat Michigan for him, and he was fa- vored to go there for a couple months. It's a huge win for Coach [Marcus] Freeman, Coach [Joe] Rudolph and the whole recruiting staff. "I love his balance. He strikes and has really good leverage and finish. He stands out in those three areas. He has constant pancakes on his film. Black is only in his third year play- ing football. He stays low and plays with a great pad level. As I keep watching his film, I see how patient he is." — Blue & Gold Illustrated football analyst Tim Hyde Black, who is the No. 14 offensive tackle and No. 202 overall player nationally according to On3, com- mitted to Notre Dame and head coach Marcus Freeman on Dec. 21. PHOTO COURTESY WILL BLACK

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - February 2024