Story Poster
Photo by Matt Freeman

Notre Dame Football Early Signing Period | Linebacker

December 21, 2022

Notre Dame brought in one of the top linebacker classes in the country a year ago and now the Irish have signed a class that could top the 2022 haul. 

LB Drayk Bowen‍  

ISD: 93 (4-star)
Composite: 95.52 (4-star)

6-2, 233
Andrean (Merrillville, Indiana)

Marcus Freeman, Chad Bowden

Recruitment Rundown
It was never going to be Notre Dame when Bowen started his recruitment as Alabama was the dream school of the two-sport star. Bowen had Clemson in the lead coming out of the summer of 2021, but Notre Dame quickly closed the gap as he committed to Marcus Freeman before the USC game. Two weeks later, Bowen went public with his decision and quickly turned into one of Notre Dame’s hardest recruiters to put himself side by side with Blake Fisher. 

ISD Expert Jamie Uyeyama
I view Bowen as a top-100 talent in the 2023 class. He’s a very good athlete and an even better football player.

I think he has the skills to be a three down inside linebacker that can do multiple things at a high-level for the Irish. I view him as a prospect with some nickel linebacker qualities who will ultimately end up at Mike for Notre Dame with the potential to be a multi-year starter.

Favorite ISD Quote"I kind of tried to eliminate them from my recruitment. It had never been Notre Dame in my eyes because it was in the North and I always wanted to go South and play in the ACC or SEC. I knew they were a great school, but it was never them. Going through how I could never find something wrong with the school or any reason to eliminate them from my choices kept them in there. At one point, I just couldn't say no to Coach Freeman and to the school." 

Senior Highlights

LB Jaiden Ausberry‍  

ISD: 93 (four-star)
Composite: 93.45 (four-star)

6-2, 205
University Lab (Baton Rouge, La.) 

Al Washington, Al Golden, Marcus Freeman

Recruitment Rundown
The four-star prospect had a fairly quiet recruitment as there wasn’t much drama. Ausberry took several visits his junior year before taking four official visits to Auburn, Notre Dame, Texas A&M and Michigan. Al Washington played a big part in this one as the two had a great relationship from Washington’s time at Ohio State. Ausberry committed to Notre Dame in August and despite rumblings of a potential flip to Auburn to play his brother, it never became more. 

ISD Expert Jamie Uyeyama
I would put him in the same prospect category as Prince Kollie and Jaylen Sneed.

I don’t envision him as someone who will be plug and play as a freshman, especially given the linebackers that Notre Dame has recruited in front of him. He also has some physical development he needs to do once he gets to campus, but he’s yet another twitchy athlete to throw into the mix at linebacker.

The player he reminds me of is a former Notre Dame recruiting target, Cam McGrone. He was someone who relied on his speed and abilities as a blitzer to thrive as an inside linebacker for Michigan and Ausberry has the potential to be the same kind of playmaker for Notre Dame.

Favorite ISD Quote
“I had really good relationships with both them. My family really gets along well with both of them. I know that I'm going to have people who want to develop me on and off the field and care about me more than just as a football player. That really means a lot to me.”

Sophomre Highlights

LB Preston Zinter‍ 

ISD: 90 (four-star)
Composite: 88.44 (three-star)

6-3, 220
Central Catholic (Lawrence, Mass.)

Marcus Freeman, Al Golden, Chad Bowden

Recruitment Rundown
Zinter picking Notre Dame wasn't a surprise as the family held the program in high regard dating back to his brother’s recruitment. Boston College, Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin hosted Zinter, but after multiple trips to Notre Dame, the four-star prospect ended his recruitment on February 11th.

ISD Expert Jamie Uyeyama
I’m a big fan of this pickup for Notre Dame. His position might not be set, but he is that kind of big skill athlete who programs want more of on defense.

I know they are recruiting him as a linebacker, but I think he might be more of a long term fit at Vyper and he reminds me quite a bit of Kahanu Kia, a player who impressed after moving there when he arrived on campus. If Zinter doesn’t end up there, I could see him rushing the passer there in sub-packages.

I think he’ll take some time to physically and technically develop, but he has the traits to become a quality multi-year starter for Notre Dame.

Favorite ISD Quote
“I think it says a lot about the future, it proves that ND can compete with anyone in the country and that we are on the path to the top.” 

Junior Highlights

Notre Dame Fighting Irish OHT Military Appreciation Waffle Full-Zip

subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.