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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Coach | Notre Dame Interest Serious For 2022 OL Gunner Givens

July 19, 2020

Lord Botetourt High School head coach Jamie Harless isn’t surprised at the early attention 2022 Virginia offensive lineman Gunner Givens‍ has received from colleges.

“I think when you see kids, especially linemen, it’s when they have a nastiness factor at a young age,” Harless says of the 6-foot-6, 275-pounder. “It takes a long time to get a puppy to learn how to bite. He’s biting as a pup, so when he gets to be a full-grown dog, it’s going to be scary.

“Honestly, I really think that’s kind of what sets him apart. He’s a very violent player. It’s tough to get kids to play that way, to finish and do the kinds of things he does.”

Givens currently has scholarship offers from schools like Notre Dame, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Georgia, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, Nebraska, Penn State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Oregon among several others.

“He’s a great kid,” his coach says. “He’s mentioned to me that he wants to work with kids with disabilities. He’s a very respectful young man. He’s the type of kid who doesn’t want to disappoint you. Just a very good kid. I can’t say enough good things about him.”

Givens landed his Irish offer back in April and told Irish Sports Daily he was “starstruck” by it.

“I think there’s a mystique about Notre Dame that not a lot of schools have,” says Harless. “Certain schools have a mystique to them. Getting that offer is one of those things that tells you you’ve arrived so to speak.

“I can remember when I was playing high school football with Notre Dame, Lou Holtz, Tony Rice, that was a big deal watching Notre Dame play football. Rocket Ismail and those guys. And I don’t think that’s changed. I think that mystique and visibility kids have about the program is still the same.”

Givens is planning to get to South Bend whenever he has the opportunity.

“That was one of those ones he really pestered me about, trying to make sure they knew he was interested in them,” says Harless. “There was a lot of communication there that I was having.

“We were going to try to get him up to a game last season, but nothing ever worked out logistically. I was going to try to take him, but I couldn’t get him to a game and get back and get everything I needed to get done and his parents’ schedule never worked out.”

Still, while Givens has started to think about narrowing down his list, at this point, he’s been advised to keep everything open.

“You’ve got a long time to go before you even need to think about that,” says Harless. “I’d stay pretty open about everything and let the process play out. There may be somebody out there, a school that comes in and shows you some interest and there’s a mutual interest there. I said, I’d give everybody a chance to show you what they’ve got, why they want you and why you should go there.

“To me, any of those kids who are sitting on top of 40 or 50 offers, that’s the way they should probably approach things.”

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