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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2022 Irish DE Commit Aiden Gobaira Loved Everything on Notre Dame Official Visit

June 27, 2021

2022 Notre Dame defensive end commit Aiden Gobaira‍ committed to the Irish in February after taking a walk around the campus with his mother. 

The 6-foot-5, 235-pounder returned this weekend and fell more in love with the program as he was able to interact face-to-face with the coaches and members of the team. 

"Oh my God," Gobaira told ISD. "It felt great going back and actually being able to see the coaches and talk to the players. It was amazing and surreal." 

The staff was a big reason why Gobaira felt comfortable committing to Notre Dame and finally getting to talk with them in person was a moment the four-star won't forget. 

"Seeing and talking with Coach (Marcus) Freeman, Coach (Mike) Elston and Coach (Brian Kelly) was amazing," explained Gobaira. "We actually had deep conversations with them. They told me about Notre Dame and how they're going to better me for the future beyond football. They're going to care for my education and make sure I get to class. 

"They were also talking a lot about the mind connection and how the mind helps players develop. That really opened up a lot for me and I really loved it. It was awesome." 

Gobaira entered the weekend as a solid commitment, so the message from Elston and Freeman was also about their vision for the Virginia native. 

"They were just super excited to see me up there and I was super excited to be up there," said Gobaira. "They were telling me how this class was going to be great, where I fit into the defense and how they think I'm going to be great." 

Kelly's time with Gobaira also left a lasting impression. Growing up, Gobaira never thought he'd be able to talk to Kelly face-to-face, which made the moment even more special. 

"Talking to Coach Kelly was surreal," Gobaira said. "When I was younger, I looked up to this guy. I never thought I'd get the opportunity to talk to him. Shaking his hand and giving him a hug - it was amazing."

Gobaira also saw a perfect fit inside Notre Dame's culture. Rylie Mills hosted him and he also got to spend a ton of time around Gabe Rubio. 

"He's a great guy," Gobaira said of Mills. "I love him. He was super energetic and very open. He told me about his story and how his time has been as a student-athlete.

"I also got to hang out a lot with Gabe Rubio. I was talking to him a bunch and it was really nice hearing from them to get their experiences." 

The trip to South Bend also provided Gobaira a chance to meet the other 2022 commits.

"Hanging out with the commits was amazing," stated Gobaira. "It was just amazing talking to them in person because that's my first time seeing my future teammates. It was nice getting to know them."

Gobaira also had his recruiting hat on as he focused his efforts on his friend Zach Rice. 

"I know he loved the trip," Gobaira said of Rice. "You love every visit you go on, but I felt Notre Dame showed him something really special. We just have to see how he's feeling and what his decision is, but I'm feeling pretty good. I think we have a shot." 

Notre Dame and the visitors also had to overcome a little adversity during the weekend as there were at least two tornado warnings for St. Joseph County on Saturday afternoon. 

"It was a little weird," laughed Gobaira. "In Virginia, we'll get a tornado warning and no one actually believes them because it's Virginia. At Notre Dame, they were serious and you actually had to watch out for them.

"We lucked out when we were outside as it usually wasn't raining. It was nice." 

And not that Gobaira wasn't firm in his commitment to Notre Dame, but this weekend showed him that he made the right decision. 

"I was committed when I got here and the visit solidified it," said Gobaira. "I'm so glad I jumped on the boat early and was able to commit and actually be on this team.

"There is no doubt in my mind this is the place I need to be." 

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