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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2022 Notre Dame Commit Nolan Ziegler Loved Trip Back to Future Home

June 20, 2021

2022 Catholic Central (Mich.) linebacker Nolan Ziegler‍ committed to the Fighting Irish last August, but he had yet to really meet anyone from Notre Dame face-to-face. 

That changed this weekend as Ziegler made his way to South Bend for an unofficial visit with his family. 

"It was great to be able to meet everyone since everything has been virtual for over a year," Ziegler told ISD. "It was fun to meet the kids I've been talking online with - it's just different to spend time together." 

Fellow 2022 linebacker commit Joshua Burnham was someone Ziegler had yet to meet and the two hit it off over the weekend. 

"He's cool," stated Ziegler. "We hung out last night. We're both doing our officials for the USC game, so we came down for the night. We had a fun time going around campus." 

The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder also met with defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman. 

Freeman had offered the Catholic Central star at Cincinnati, but the two had never met. 

"I definitely like how serious he takes his job," explained Ziegler. "Cincinnati really focused on the fundamentals, mentality, technique and how they approach every day. Instead of having a bunch of different schemes, they worked on the right mentality and the right technique. That's why they had such a good record and one of the top defenses in the country.

"I believe he'll be great for us this year. We talked about what he teaches for linebacker and rover. They need a lot of linebackers, especially with this class because they don't have many above us. We'll be playing a lot of linebackers." 

Head coach Brian Kelly also chopped it up with the Ziegler family as they discussed the glory days in Grand Rapids when Kelly was at Grand Valley State.

"It was really good. He was asking about what I thought of the program," said Ziegler. "It was cool because he comes from Grand Valley and my dad played against Grand Valley when he was at Hillsdale. My coach coached with Coach Kelly and Coach Quinn at Grand Valley. 

"It was fun to catch up." 

Ziegler had seen the sights and sounds of Notre Dame before this weekend's visit, but he was able to see and learn a few things that surprised him. 

"The new suites, weight room, indoor facility - I had never been in those," Ziegler said. "I got to see some buildings I hadn't been in before.

"I learned more about how they focus on the mental aspect of the game. The presentation they gave was really cool. It was cool to see how worldwide Notre Dame is too. I knew it was big, but the connections they have worldwide with the brand is cool to see." 

Ziegler also had his recruiting hat on this weekend as he was able to connect with several of Notre Dame's top targets. 

"I got to hang out with Xavier, Nick (Singleton), Jayden (Bellamy), Cyrus Moss and Carnell Tate," said Ziegler. "I got to talk to all of them about why I chose Notre Dame so early and why I knew it was the spot." 

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