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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Recruiting Week In Review

March 14, 2021
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Written by Joe Bradshaw

Notre Dame recently received a verbal commitment from quarterback Steve Angeli‍.  They also recently got a commitment from running back JD Price‍, have landed two highly ranked offensive linemen and a tight end.  Notre Dame’s Class of 2022 offensive class is starting to come into focus.  Still, the Irish want to continue to recruit and sign offensive playmakers.  They still need to add several wide receivers and would like at least one more running back.  Last week Irish Sports Daily reported on two prospects who Notre Dame hopes will start the ball rolling on wide receiver commitments and finish out running back recruitment.  What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Sports Daily?

The commitment of JD Price has not slowed the Irish recruitment of Dallan Hayden‍ at all.  Hayden, RB, 5-11, 195, Christian Brothers High School, Memphis, TN remains a major focus of the Notre Dame coaching staff.  He’s recently heard from Offensive Coordinator Tommy Rees, Running Backs Coach Lance Taylor and Head Coach Brian Kelly.

“I did a couple of Zoom calls with them,” Hayden shared.  “With Lance Taylor and Coach Rees.  They’re showing me how I fit their offense and how they’d love to use me in their offense and I’d fit really good.  They would get me involved, not only in their run game, but in the pass game.  They’d use me for screens, matching me up on a linebacker.”

Rees and Taylor have made positive impressions on him. 

“They seem like really good guys,” he said.  “They seem like good coaches to play for; they’re going to be there for you on and off the field.”

Hayden has also spoken with Head Coach Kelly.

“I talked to him like two weeks ago, he was on the Zoom,” Hayden said.  “He’s a player’s coach.  He didn’t even really talk to me about football, it was more about life, asking about my family and all of that kind of stuff.”

Like so many other recruits, the numerous extensions of the dead period have left Hayden frustrated and uncertain about how he will be able to approach the rest of the recruiting process.

“I don’t really know where I’m at right now because you never know what they’re going to do,” he explained. 

He used the word “shocked” to describe what his reaction would be if the NCAA didn’t extend the dead period when it lapses at the end of May.

“That’s just my personal opinion.  I thought they were going to open in April.”

In addition to Notre Dame, Hayden has a top four of Tennessee, Ohio State and Oregon.

Maritime Charter School Wide Receivers Coach Adam McCann has watched Addison Copeland‍, WR, 6-3, 185, Western New York Charter Maritime School, Buffalo, NY grow up.  As a result, he’s not at all surprised by the amount of attention that his talented wide receiver is receiving.

“He’s been the same from nine to ten to now,” McCann shared.  “He’s just dedicated.  He pushes his players around him, pushes his coaches, pushes his trainers, anyone that’s around him.  In practice, on game days, you can feel his energy.”

McCann recalled that as a young athlete, Copeland played “everything.”

“Running back, receiver, kick return, punt return, anything on defense,” he recalled.  “Just wherever you could get the ball into his hands, that’s where he was at.  And then once the ball got into his hands, it was kind of like catch me if you can.”

That element of Copeland’s game hasn’t changed much since he was nine or ten either.

“Not many guys can actually say that they’re speed demons or speedsters and really be a speed guy,” said McCann. 

Copeland’s offer list, which includes Notre Dame, Rutgers, Penn State, Boston College and numerous others indicates that he can.

“He’s crazy athletic and has the drive just to get better,” McCann said.  “He’s only in his first gear, he’s not even in his third or fourth gear yet.  He still has some notches that a lot of people will see…he’s going to be an over the top type of guy who can run all the routes.”

McCann has Copeland working on a variety of releases and blocking techniques as he seeks to refine his star’s game.

“You’ve got to be an all-around athlete for your teammates, to push your body out in the line,” he shared.  “So, he’s learning that aspect of it, that it’s not just catching the ball.  It’s, ‘Hey, I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do when the ball is not in my hands.’”

McCann says Copeland never lets up from challenging his teammates in a positive way.

“His teammates, coaches, everyone around him since he’s been nine is always willing to run through a wall for him.”

Copeland pushes himself just as hard, if not harder than everyone else.

“When we sprint, he’s finishing first, or at least third in conditioning,” McCann said.  “If he’s not finishing first, he’s always, ‘Man, I’ve got to do better.’  Or he’s pushing and congratulating the guys who beat him out and making him work.”

Copeland was verbally committed to Rutgers until he received his Notre Dame offer.  He backed off his Rutgers commitment to avoid being disrespectful.  The Notre Dame offer clearly got his attention.

“We talk about going to a college that’s going to be able to change his life and his family’s lives for generations,” McCann said.  “Winning National Championships, winning a bowl game, winning 110 games.  Whatever you win in college is great, but after football is done, looking at education.  What can that institution do for you?  And you don’t get better than top five on the field and top five off the field like Notre Dame, honestly.”

In addition to Notre Dame, Copeland is considering Penn State and remains in contact with Rutgers.  He’s working on building relationships that he can explore further when the NCAA finally lifts the dead period.

These two summaries represent just a sample of the Notre Dame football recruiting information available each week on Irish Sports Daily.

 
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