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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Coach | Best Yet To Come For Notre Dame OL Commit Charles Jagusah

July 6, 2022
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When Charles Jagusah‍ scheduled a quiet visit to South Bend in April, it was clear the 2023 Illinois offensive lineman’s interest in Notre Dame was serious.

But the most telling portion of the trip probably came when he and Alleman High School head coach Fritz Dieudonne left campus.

After visiting in the fall for a game, Jagusah wanted to return for a non-gameday experience to talk to people without the typical hoopla surrounding a game. It was the start of Holy Week and Jagusah had priorities other than recruiting as they left.

“It was, 'Hey Coach, I've got find a church for me to get to Mass,’” Dieudonne recalls. “So, when we got done for the day, he was pulling out his phone and searching for churches that were near the campus and I drove him to Mass.

“No one in that place would know him. That's the part for him where that's a space that he's comfortable in. He's a Catholic school-kid who fully embraces his faith, fully embraces what it means to be a Catholic and what it means to worship and to pray and to praise.”

And while that stop had nothing to do with recruiting, it helps understand why Jagusah ultimately committed to Notre Dame over Michigan, Arkansas and Iowa last week.

“You can't ignore the faith-based aspect of what it means to be at Notre Dame,” Dieudonne says.

Irish offensive line coach Harry Hiestand was another crucial piece to that decision.

“I told folks many times that glitz and glam was not going to get Charles,” Dieudonne says. “The shoe deals, the apparel deals don't really appeal to him. He was big on having a relationship with A., his teammates and then B., the coach he's going be playing for that's built on respect.”

Hiestand and Dieudonne traded text messages after Jagusah went public with his decision last week.

“I thanked him,” Dieudonne says. “I said, 'Hey, thank you for treating him like a person.' He wasn't this hot commodity and we were just going to blow smoke. It was a conversation.

“It was Coach Hiestand being able to sit there and talk to him about what he sees in Charles and where he sees he can go, his ceiling and how to develop him to be a great football player and to be a great person.”

That too helped make Jagusah’s decision easier.

“He's a driven young man who is not satisfied,” his coach says. “I think that's really what helped make him feel comfortable, the ability for Coach Hiestand to sit down and talk to him about ways he can improve, sit there and talk to him about technique and the way they teach it.

“It's not uncommon that he'll sit there and critique a set; he's like, 'I overreached on that one,' or 'I was off-balance.' He's just a young man who is open to coaching and very honest with himself and being able to say he knows he's not doing something well. He can feel it, he knows it and then he'll correct it.

“The fact that he's driven to do that, I think the sky's the limit. He's going to be a sponge, the more coaching he gets, the more he's going to want.”

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