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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2022 Notre Dame Commit Joshua Burnham Thrilled with Marcus Freeman Hire

December 7, 2021

The last week has been a wild ride for the Notre Dame world, but perhaps even more for the 2022 recruiting class. 

Notre Dame’s 22 commitments were shocked by the news Brian Kelly left South Bend for LSU and then wondered what the future would hold for them. 

Some campaigned for Marcus Freeman to be the next head coach while others took time to process the whole situation. 

2022 Traverse City Central (Mich.) linebacker Joshua Burnham‍ was set on Notre Dame, but the hiring of Freeman gives him a greater sense of comfort as he takes the next step in his life.

"It means a lot being able to play for him,” Burnham told ISD. “It's a huge honor. You don't go somewhere for the coach and all of us in the class didn't commit there because of Coach (Brian) Kelly. We committed because of what Notre Dame is academically and athletically." 

It’s not a secret Freeman takes recruiting seriously, but the added layer of building meaningful relationships isn’t lost on recruits. 

"He's super down to earth," explained Burnham. “He's a really genuine guy. He doesn't always tell you what you want to hear, but he tells you the truth. It's great to be able to have that relationship with him. He's built that kind of relationship with all of us as recruits and his players at Notre Dame." 

The conversations between Burnham and Freeman aren't always about football, which is greatly appreciated and refreshing for the Traverse City Central star. 

"It pretty much happens every time I see him," laughed Burnham. “We'll talk about football, but we'll talk about life. He asks how high school is going or how my family is doing. 

"Coach Freeman just shows how much he cares." 

Freeman's honesty might be tough for some prospects to hear and it was a change of pace for Burnham. However, when the Michigan native took a step back, Burnham realized that’s exactly what he needed in a coach. 

"No matter what coach you talk to, there will be that recruiting talk,” stated Burnham. “He gives us stuff we need to work on and that's good. Some coaches keep telling you everything you want to hear. 'You'll be playing in no time, or you'll be starting.' But then you won't see the field. 

"He's a great coach and a great person. He'll talk to you no matter what. It doesn't have to be about sports. He's just a great person in general.

"Football comes down to the little things. Coach Freeman will make sure everyone is the best they can be every minute. It's huge." 

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