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Notre Dame Football

Price's right ... in position to immediately contribute for Irish

April 23, 2022
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Certainly, it helps Jadarian Price that he’s now a four-month student-athlete at Notre Dame – rather than still closing out his senior year of high school.

After Saturday’s spring-ending Blue-Gold Game, however, first-year Irish head coach Marcus Freeman wasn’t leaving any doubts about Price’s ability to immediately impact Notre Dame’s offense – early enrollee status or otherwise.

“We have 14 incoming freshmen,” Freeman said after a crowd of 33,754 saw the Irish’s Gold Team defeat the Blue counterparts, 13-10, “and the misconception is that if you come in early, you’ll play early. If you can play early, you’ll know quickly.

“We saw that with (Price). He understands the big picture. He gets the playbook. The transition wasn’t too big for him.”

Price had 116 all-purpose yards, most of them catching the ball from fellow freshman quarterback and game-winning touchdown supplier Steve Angeli, including a 51-yard receiving score in his first time to play in front of a crowd inside Notre Dame Stadium.

“We practiced that play a lot over the spring,” said the 5-foot-10-inch, 190-pound Price, a consensus four-star signee in the 2022 class. “Coach (Deland) McCullough actually told me I was getting out a little slow. Seeing Zeke (Correll) and those guys in front of me, it was open field. Once I got into the end zone, I didn't know what to do. I was like, 'Man, did this really happen?'

“Having those guys love on me and hype me up was an amazing experience.”

Angeli, 11-for-13 for 180 yards and the scoring toss to Price in addition to his touchdown run, found nothing surprising about Price’s production.

“JD’s been turning a lot of heads; hats off from me to him,” Angeli said. “Whenever I needed to find a first down, I knew who I had to find and he’s a real workhorse, I can’t wait to see him keep going this year.”

BOTELHO FULL-GO

Jordan Botelho made his presence felt during the annual intrasquad exhibition, an outing that included his open-field interception of a tipped Drew Pyne pass that Botelho returned 42 yards.

“He’s done a good job,” Freeman said. “He’s played Rover, Vyper, and again, he’s a guy when the ball is live he runs, he hits, he’s physical; he makes plays.

“He’s a guy that’s going to be a huge asset for this team.”

Botelho finished the afternoon with five tackles, four of them solo, in addition to the pick.

MOVING AHEAD

Want refreshing? Take Freeman’s answer when asked what rested in front of him as he pivoted from Saturday’s scrimmage and looked ahead to the coming months – his first-ever summer as a head coach.

“Recruiting never stops,” Freeman said. “Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting. Every day. Recruiting.

“That is an everyday responsibility, and our entire staff’s focus.”

The Irish are preparing to send their coaches on the road for the spring evaluation period, and Freeman’s in-depth plan includes a staggered approach that keeps his staff consistently on the road but also utilizes off-field staff with NCAA clearance for on-the-road recruiting to allow coaches to come in from the road but Notre Dame to maintain its maximum presence on the trail.

It’s perhaps an underutilized element by other programs, something that Freeman’s shrewd approach has the potential to be a key factor for the Irish’s on-the-road recruiting efforts.

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