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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Recruiting Thoughts

August 1, 2020

Notre Dame fans wanted recruiting fireworks heading into July and the Irish delivered by landing six commitments. Four came from the 2021 class while 2022 saw two jump on board. 

Now, Notre Dame might not have landed six five-star prospects in July, but the commitments are just what the Irish needed to build momentum and solidify the roster for the future. 

The first and last commitments of the month are similar as 2021 offensive lineman Joe Alt‍ and 2021 tight end Mitchell Evans‍ are long-term projections as neither have much experience playing the position they will play in college. Alt, 6-foot-7, 265 pounds, has played tight end his whole career and will be making the switch to the offensive line in 2020. Evans, 6-foot-7, 240 pounds, has played all over the field because of his athleticism and will play quarterback this fall. 

Growing pains will come once both come to Notre Dame because they will be behind the curve from an experience standpoint, but the ceiling is high for both players. It will come down to putting in the work and in Evans’ case, staying at a weight to continue to play tight end.

2021 cornerback Chance Tucker‍ was a big addition and I think ISD’s Jamie Uyeyama could end up looking good for giving him a four-star grade before anyone else. There is no doubt Tucker has to clean up part of his game, but even with small mistakes, the California native makes up for them by making plays. You also can’t teach length and physicality. 

2021 running back Logan Diggs‍ is another kid Jamie might be ahead of the industry on as he gave the Louisiana native a four-star grade. Diggs will be the guy in 2020 as he shared carries with another back, who committed to Northwestern State. A few sources feel Diggs will make a jump in 2020, but that also might depend on getting a little bit better offensive line play. Regardless, Notre Dame didn’t take a running back to take a running back. The Irish got a quality back and Diggs will arrive to South Bend with a chip on his shoulder. 

2022 started off in typical Notre Dame fashion by landing commitments from Zionsville (Ind.) offensive lineman Joey Tanona‍ and Milton (Ga.) tight end Jack Nickel‍. Offensive line and tight end have become what Notre Dame is known for over the last few years and both prospects will serve as a solid foundation. 

When tight ends coach John McNulty was hired earlier this year, it caused some eye rolls, but he’s more than proven himself on the recruiting trail to this point. Yes, he hasn’t won every battle, but it’s clear he knows how to evaluate and is dedicated to recruiting. 

McNulty formed a relationship with 2021 tight end commit Cane Berrong‍ the first day he was hired and eased the Georgia native’s concerns about the departure of Chip Long. 2021 offers to Mitchell Evans, Thomas Fidone and Erik Olsen seem like no brainers now, but at the time, all three were somewhat underrecruited. The search for a second tight end was also more about making sure they have depth if Tommy Tremble were to leave after this season instead of how the staff felt about Berrong.

In July, McNulty was able to close the deal on Evans and Nickel, which could allow the first-year Notre Dame assistant time for a drink...or two. McNulty’s next tight end commit could very well be in the 2023 class. 

All focus now turns to 2021 offensive lineman Rocco Spindler‍ as we’re one week away from his commitment. I’ll have my final thoughts on Spindler tomorrow, but it’s clear Jeff Quinn has momentum right now. He’s taken some heat, but Quinn has stuck to the consistency and will have a chance for a big week. 

The 2022 offensive line class has shown great interest in Notre Dame and Quinn has already developed strong relationships. Visits will be key here, but Quinn is having weekly calls with the top guys on the board and those conversations have been very positive. If Quinn closes, Notre Dame could be looking at back-to-back big-time offensive line hauls as its trending well for the Irish. 

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