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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Coach | Notre Dame Would Be "Great Fit" For Top 2024 S Jaylen McClain

February 18, 2023

Jaylen McClain’s ability on the field is quite obvious.

“He's got great speed,” Seton Hall Prep head coach Bill Fitzgerald says of the 2024 New Jersey safety.

“He takes tremendous angles. He plays extremely hard and he's a ferocious tackler. He gets people on the ground and he does it violently.”

Those are just some of the reasons the 6-foot-1, 185-pounder has offers from schools like Notre Dame, Georgia, Michigan, LSU, Texas A&M, USC and Oregon among others.

But it goes deeper than that, according to Fitzgerald.

“He's a terrific young man,” the coach says. “He cares about his teammates. He cares about his classmates in school. He's the oldest of three. He has two younger brothers and he's a tremendous example to them. He comes from two wonderful parents. They definitely set the standard on how he needs to operate.

“In school, he's a tremendous student. Ivy League grades. It's just funny how all of those character and academic things translate to the football field. We kind of talk about the way you do one thing is the way you do everything, and he certainly lives that.”

A week ago, McClain announced a Top 10 that included the Irish, USC, Penn State, Oregon, Michigan, Michigan State, Rutgers, Stanford, Tennessee and Georgia.

Fitzgerald was the offensive coordinator at St. Peter’s Prep when former Irish quarterback Brandon Wimbush played there, so he knows Notre Dame.

“Very well,” Fitzgerald says.

And he says Notre Dame would be a “great fit” for McClain.

“Obviously, he has a ton of schools and a ton of interest and he and his family are doing a great job investigating all of his opportunities,” Fitzgerald says. “And Notre Dame is, is certainly one.

“They definitely provide the things academically, athletically, and then after college too with the alumni base and how that can help him and how he can be a part of it. I think that that's a great fit and he's definitely got lots of thinking to do and I know Notre Dame is a big part of those thoughts.”

McClain is planning to get to South Bend soon.

“I don't know exactly what his plans are in terms of when and what's going to happen there, but yes, Notre Dame is on that list to visit,” Fitzgerald says.

Fitzgerald has no doubt McClain will make the best decision for him when the time comes.

“He's got a great hand on his shoulders and a great support system and they'll have a plan to make that call when they need to,” he says. “I know he's appreciated all the coaches who have reached out and come to evaluate him.

“But it's a lot and he's got to start whittling it down pretty soon and making that decision. I would assume that he would want to do before senior year starts.”

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