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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Notre Dame OL Commit Sam Pendleton Grounded In Present & Future

August 28, 2022

Sam Pendleton‍ and the Reagan (N.C.) High School football squad are 1-1 after a season-opening win over North Davidson and a tough Week 2 loss to Grimsley, 40-34, on Friday night.

The 2023 Notre Dame offensive lineman commit and his team remain focused on multiple team goals.

“Obviously, we want to win our conference like we did last year,” the 6-foot-5, 290-pound Pendleton told Irish Sports Daily. “But we have some smaller goals other than that. You can't always just count on winning the conference. Obviously, you want to, but in the event that you don't, you always have to have those small goals.

“You always want to have a winning record, be above .500. I feel like our team's pretty young this year, so I feel like this is a really great year to make those young guys step up into a leadership role.”

That’s one of Pendleton’s chief goals, making sure Reagan is set up for success beyond his career.

“A bunch of seniors including myself, we're leaving, so I feel like this is a good opportunity for (young guys) to step up and get a feel for varsity, make some plays for us and really step into a role that they need to keep carry on the next year,” he said.

“I'm a captain again this year, so it's an honor being named a captain two years in a row. I want to be all-conference and hopefully make all-state again this year.”

In addition to Pendleton, Reagan has 2023 Duke defensive line commit Semaj Turner.

“Obviously, that's something that teams look at when they're scouting us and they're definitely going to game plan for it,” said Pendleton. “I think at the end of the day, it's just going to come down to who's got the most heart who's going to come out and play ball no matter what.

“I'm not the only guy who's on the offense line. That's not how it works. I feel like I am a factor, but at the end of the day, they have to factor in all the other pieces that we have on our team.”

Pendleton has enjoyed watching the 2023 Irish recruiting class come together, especially the offensive line.

“I want to have the best recruiting class that we can,” he said. “I'm just building that relationship with our guys on the offensive line. Charles Jagusah, Joe Otting. Obviously, me and Sully (Absher) have a pretty close relationship because we're from kind of the same area; he's about a hour away from me. And then, Elijah Paige, we're all getting really close through texts and phone calls and talking about the games.

“I'm also talking to some other guys, even guys in the lower class. Jack Larsen goes to Charlotte Catholic and he's another Carolina guy. We have a lot of love for those guys because we're all away from home and I'm just so happy that we have the class that we do and I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes before Signing Day.”

Pendleton already has one return to South Bend locked in for the fall.

“I'm definitely coming up for the Clemson game in November. And I might come up for a game before that. I haven't really decided yet.”

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