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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2023 ATH Sonny Styles Focused on Fall Visits

August 30, 2021

The last meeting between Ohio powerhouses Pickerington Central and Elder was in 2019 for the Division I State Championship game. 

Lorenzo Styles caught a pass and went 49 yards for the winning score late in the fourth quarter to seal the deal for the Tigers. 

Elder made the trip to Pickerington Central on Friday night and the Tigers cruised to a 28-10 win behind a nasty defense led by 2023 athlete Sonny Styles‍. 

The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder was glad to be back in front of a packed house and embraced the moment as his team fed off the overflowing crowd. 

"For me, the biggest part was playing in the home stadium, The Ditch, with a full crowd," Styles told ISD. "My favorite part of the game was the student section. I loved the energy from them.

"We got the win even though we had a lot of bad plays. We won and that's all that matters. We're on to the next game." 

Irish Sports Daily
The Ditch

Styles is one of the most coveted prospects in the country regardless of class and flashed his immense skillset throughout the night at different positions. 

The comparison to former Clemson star Isaiah Simmons is a popular one and well, it's accurate. Styles lines up at all three levels of the defense and made plays at all three levels on Friday. 

"It's fun," Styles said of his role on defense. "You get to do different stuff all over the field. I enjoy it a lot." 

Notre Dame defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman has made it clear that's the role he wants Styles in for the Irish and the message lately has been very clear. 

"Coach Freeman, whenever we talk, he lets me know they want me at Notre Dame," stated Styles. "Every time we talk, he says that. It makes me feel good."

The Pickerington Central star was feeling good following Friday's game when he found out the entire Notre Dame coaching staff was watching his game in The Gug. 

"I think it tells you they think I'm a high priority and that's always good to hear," explained Styles. "Obviously, Notre Dame is a high priority for me & I'm looking forward to getting up there for a game & seeing my brother." 

Styles and his brother, Lorenzo, talk every couple of weeks and they have become long conversations when they can find time to catch up. 

And yes, Styles will factor in the opportunity to play with his brother at Notre Dame into his decision, but it's also not something that's at the top of the list for him.

"It's something I like, but I don't think it's a deal-breaker for me," Styles explained. "It's a great opportunity to be able to play with my brother at the next level, so it's something I'll definitely think about." 

Styles has also been building relationships with prospects in his recruiting class all over the country. 

Two of those relationships should have Notre Dame fans intrigued. 

2023 Andrean (Ind.) linebacker Drayk Bowen‍ has impressed Styles as a person and an athlete, which likely isn't easy to do as the Ohio native is a two-sport star himself. 

"It seems like he's a machine," Styles said. "Football, baseball - he's just a machine. He's one of those guys where you just sit back and go 'wow' because of how hard he works. That's a dude you want on your team. I'm sure he has leadership skills just by watching the way he acts and carries himself." 

2023 Notre Dame defensive end commit Keon Keeley‍ has also been in Styles' ear in recent weeks. 

"I've talked to him a little bit," Styles said. "He's a cool guy. He's a big guy. He's a freak." 

Fall visits are the next step for Styles and he'll see Notre Dame play multiple times this year. 

Styles expects to be in South Bend on Oct. 2 (Cincinnati) and Oct. 30 (UNC) at minimum, but he'll also see the Irish play this weekend as he'll take a quick swing to Florida and Florida State before heading to Clemson in mid-September.

"It will be my first visit to Florida," said Styles. "I'm looking to get the feel of the atmosphere at Florida.

"I went to Florida State in the summer, so I want to see the game atmosphere and to watch my brother." 

ISD: 94 (four-star)
247: 95 (four-star)
Rivals: 6.1 (five-star)
ESPN: 87 (four-star)
Composite: 99.64 (five-star)

Football Offers: Alabama, Boston College, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Indiana, Louisville, LSU, Miami, Miami (Ohio), Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Penn State, Tennessee, Texas, Toledo and West Virginia 

Basketball Offers: Akron, Duquesne, Kent State, Ohio and Toledo

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