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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2021 Notre Dame RB Target Audric Estime Enjoying Monster Season

November 23, 2020
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By the start of his senior season at St. Joseph Regional High School, Audric Estime‍ had plenty of scholarship offers and had already made a verbal commitment to Michigan State.

But the 2021 New Jersey running back still had plenty to prove and fortunately for him, he had a chance to do so this fall.

“I think some people had some questions about speed and some other things and they’ve seen the tape this year and he’s been unstoppable,” St. Joseph head coach Dan Marangi says.

Indeed.

Through seven games this season, Estime has rushed for 1,639 yards on 154 carries (10.6 yards per carry) and 21 touchdowns. In the last two games alone, he's combined for more than 600 rushing yards and seven scores.

“For a back his size, his strength, his balance,” Marangi says. “He’s got great balance. He never goes down with just the first guy hitting him. It always takes multiple people to bring him down. He’s got great balance, so he’s able to either run you over or make a move to get by you. He tends to stay on his feet even in some tight situations.

“He’s hurdled guys. You just don’t see that out of backs who are 6-1, 210, 215. This year, it’s been obvious that he’s been separating from people, which a lot of coaches love.”

Marangi says Estime is young for his class, having just recently turned 17, “He’s still got a lot of growth in him.”

Estime gave a verbal commitment to Michigan State back in September, but new schools have been showing serious interest after seeing the start to his season.

Notre Dame is one of those schools.

“They’re looking at a big back and he fits the bill of what they’re looking for,” Marangi says. “I’m not familiar with their roster, but they were looking for a bigger back. I guess they’re maybe going to take two running backs this class. He’d be a perfect fit in my opinion. I guess it’s in the admissions process at the moment.”

As a longtime assistant coach at Don Bosco Prep, Marangi has coached guys like Ryan Grant and Elijah Shumate, who went on to play for the Irish.

“Audric fits right into that mold as a person with high character who is not only going to be a great football player, a great role model, but he’s going to do that off the field as well,” the coach says. “I think that’s what Notre Dame looks for.

“They look for guys who aren’t just quality football players, but quality individuals on and off the field. They’re going to represent the program. They don’t have to worry about what guys are doing when they’re away from the facility and all of that stuff.”

The Irish haven’t offered yet, but if they did, Marangi wouldn’t be surprised to see Estime take a trip out to South Bend on his own.

“He did that to Michigan State,” the coach says. “Over the summer, he drove out to Michigan State prior to committing to get a good look.

“I assume if Notre Dame offers, he would probably get out. As soon as our season is over on Thanksgiving, I’m sure he’d take a ride out to take a look.”

Off the field, the coach says Estime is “tremendous.”

“He’s got an infectious smile,” says Marangi. “He’s a captain of the team. He gets people to follow him. He’s just that infectious type of kid that you want to be around. He’s what you want your kids to grow up to be. He’s been a perfect gentleman.

“Anytime we have people come who want to talk to the kids or learn about the program, he’s right up front and center with a big smile on his face describing what it’s like to be a part of the program. He’s happy to be a part of it and be a leader.”

It may be special, but not necessarily unique at St. Joseph, the same school current Irish defensive lineman Howard Cross attend.

“We’ve been lucky as a program to have a lot of guys like that,” Marangi explains. “He’s just following in the footsteps of the guys who have come before him. It’s why we have one of the top programs around. Guys see that, guys want to step into that role and they understand what it’s about.

“He’s the next in a long line of guys who came before him and hopefully, he’ll pass it on to guys who follow. It’s great to be a coach and have guys like that because they take care of a lot of the leadership qualities just by the way they practice, carry themselves and work out. You’re not always having to be on them because we have guys like Audric who are going to set the tone.”

 
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