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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Notre Dame Commits Drayk Bowen & Jaylen Sneed Go In-Depth on Marcus Freeman

November 30, 2021
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It's been a wild 24 hours around the world of Notre Dame football as Brian Kelly left South Bend for Baton Rouge. 

Monday night was filled with many emotions and emotions.

Tuesday morning, Notre Dame's players, recruits and commits made strong statements on Social Media for defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman to be named the next head coach of the Fighting Irish.

2022 linebacker commit Jaylen Sneed‍ and 2023 linebacker Drayk Bowen‍ are critical players in both classes and they took to Twitter to express their thoughts on Freeman. 

It's easy to see why commits want to play for their primary recruiter and position coach, but it's much deeper than that for both players. 

The relationships started for Freeman when he was at Cincinnati as he was the first to offer both prospects. 

"He developed a great relationship with me ever since he was the first one to offer me," Bowen told ISD. "We kept building that relationship when he got to Notre Dame. 

"He really gets the defensive side of football because he played Divison I football and was highly recruited. He played in the NFL. He can teach me all those things that maybe others couldn't because he did it. It's a huge thing.

"His personality and swagger make you feel at home and loved. You want to be around him. He's a guy that surrounds himself with good people and you want to be part of his group." 

Bowen saw Freeman in a much different light during a summer visit to Notre Dame despite having an already solid relationship. 

"It started at Junior Day at the end of July when I went back to Notre Dame," explained Bowen. "He came over and started playing bags with me. That was the first time I saw it. 

"A week or two before USC was when I realized I couldn't tell him no. The relationship we built, I could never tell him I couldn't play for him." 

Honesty is also something that stuck out to the recent Indiana 2A State Champion. 

As a top prospect, Bowen saw through coaches who were dishonest or stretched the truth, but Freeman never did that. 

In fact, if Freeman didn't know the answer to a question from Bowen or his family, he admitted it and would find the resolution. 

"He's never told me a lie," said Bowen. "He's kept everything very honest and open. He told us at Notre Dame he didn't want to leave and wanted to see it through with our class. 

"If he doesn't know an answer, he'll find out and get you the answer. He's always going to tell the truth and not bluff his way out of it. That's something that's been big in all of this." 

Bowen is a killer on the field, but he's typically reserved and even shy, which is why he stepped outside his comfort zone as he hopes his statement falls on open ears. 

"He's done so much with recruiting for Notre Dame in his year being there and we have a top-five class," stated Bowen.  

"As a recruit, you're going and you know he's going to love you, but also push you. What he did at Cincinnati to help them be top 10 and now they're top four. You know he's going to push you to be the best and compete for National Championships. 

"I'll have that relationship and have someone to support and help me grow. I know I'll be pushed to be the best in the sport I play and we're going to compete as a team."

Sneed, a five-star prospect from South Carolina, is very similar to Bowen from a personality standpoint. 

The Hilton Head linebacker is reserved and soft-spoken. Sneed doesn't do too much media and he's not one to make his feeling or emotions public. 

Yet, Sneed felt the need to make his feelings known because of his relationship with Freeman. 

"My relationship with Coach Freeman goes back four years," said Sneed. "He was the first offer I ever received. 

"The bond I have built with him is true & amazing. I want to play for Coach Freeman and I want to play for him at Notre Dame. If Coach Freeman is not named the Head Coach at Notre Dame, I will re-open my recruitment process." 

Bold, but words both commits hope to make a difference for a coach they've come to love.

 
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