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Notre Dame Football

ISD Intel | Addendum | How Important Is Jean-Baptiste To Notre Dame?

January 13, 2023
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How important is the addition of avontae Jean-Baptiste to some people in South Bend?

Pretty important.

“This is as big as the quarterback, Sam Hartman,” one source told ISD on Thursday night.

“It’s on that scale.”

One source on the Notre Dame side of things described the 6-foot-5, 255-pound defensive end from Ohio State as “an explosive addition.”

Although they did want to stress that Jean-Baptiste is an addition.  

“He’s joining a great group,” we were told. “Feel like he’s going to round out with some of the guys who have left.

“He’s going to be explosive, really good player, played a lot of ball.”

Jean-Baptiste has certainly played on the big stage and even recorded a second in the Buckeyes’ 42-41 loss to Georgia in the College Football Playoff Semifinals a couple weeks ago.

One source said the pre-existing relationship Jean-Baptiste had with current Irish defensive line coach Al Washington, who was in Columbus for three years before coming to Notre Dame, made his choice a bit easier.

“Without question,” the source said. “I think that helped a lot. I think that was a part of it.

“There’s a trust. When you go to war and go to battle with somebody, that’s when you build relationships.”

In addition to that relationship with Washington, Jean-Baptiste clearly has faith in Irish head coach Marcus Freeman and defensive coordinator Al Golden.

“He’s thankful for Ohio State and everything he’s experienced, but he wants something more and sees what this opportunity is,” one source in South Bend said. “He believes in Marcus.

“He’s ready to take that next step and write that next chapter.”

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