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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Coach | 2022 Notre Dame TE Target Eli Raridon Checks The Boxes

February 14, 2021

Eli Raridon‍ is plenty busy these days between basketball and working out without a flurry of college coaches coming after the 2022 Iowa tight end.

In fact, Valley High School head coach Gary Swenson hasn’t had much time to sit with Raridon to go over his increasing list of options.

“I saw him in our weight room and we were trying to find a time where we could sit down and work through some of this stuff,” says Swenson. “He's just so busy right now. So, I said, 'Let's just wait, until basketball is over and we'll figure it out.'

“It's a great opportunity for him to have these choices and that's the most exciting thing.”

In the last week alone, the 6-foot-6, 230-pounder has picked up offers from Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Minnesota and Notre Dame to go with offers he already had from schools like Iowa, Iowa State, Illinois, Florida State, Michigan State and Virginia.

Irish offensive coordinator Tommy Rees hinted at the potential of a Notre Dame offer a few days before it went out.

Raridon’s father, Scott, played offensive line for the Irish in the early-2000s. Swenson says the offer from the Irish means a lot.

“I'm sure it does, but knowing the parents like I know them, they're going to let him make this decision,” the coach says.

Swenson isn’t surprised to see Raridon garner so much attention.

“Everybody has such a premium on length right now,” he says. “He's a legit 6-6 and I'm not sure he's done growing. I think anybody that sees any of the footage of him playing basketball is impressed because he's very athletic.

“I'm sure he could have a future in collegiate basketball if he wanted it. I'm not sure what level, but he could play.”

Swenson believes Raridon had already checked the athletic box before his junior season and only needed to show he could be physical enough to move outside linebackers and defensive ends in the run game.

“He made huge strides in that area,” the coach says. “I think that was the final answer that certain people were looking at.”

Off the field, Swenson says Raridon is “great.”

“He has a lot of respect on our team,” the coach continues. “They respect his ability. He's pretty easy-going. No huge ego. When all these offers started coming, you'd never know it. I have to go ask him half the time.

“He doesn't walk around like it should change his day. He's a good kid, no character issues, good worker in the weight room…He's a really good worker. I was really pleased with his season this year and I expect him  to have a better one next year.” 

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