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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Film Don't Lie | Ethan Long

January 8, 2024
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Seven of Notre Dame’s 12 commitments in the 2025 recruiting class were evaluated on campus by the Notre Dame staff this summer. Make it eight of 13 now that safety Ethan Long‍ has joined them.

The name fits. Ethan is long. He checks the proper boxes with his size and frame, which again fits with how Notre Dame’s staff approaches recruiting. There are very few exceptions they take who don’t have the required physical traits.

More importantly, Long is a really good ball player with the potential to play multiple roles in Notre Dame’s defense.

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 190

Projected Position: Safety/Aztec

ISD Grade: 91 (4-star)

National Average Grade: 89.7 (4-star)

What he does best:

Long is a physical, wrap tackler. He’s comfortable playing in the box and mixing it up versus the inside run game.

via GIPHY

He’s just as comfortable on the perimeter where he does a nice job of both defeating blocks and diagnosing the screen game.

via GIPHY

A fluid athlete, he displays good route recognition and the ball skills to finish in coverage.

via GIPHY

He played deeper as a junior, but showed he can be a very effective blitzer when utilized near the line of scrimmage.

via GIPHY

What he needs to improve:

I think he has the potential to split the field as a deep safety, but he doesn't have the kind of range to cover ground without being more decisive.

He should be able to match up with tight ends in man, but he needs to use his length better to control slot receivers.

What’s his ceiling?

I like Long’s potential as a downhill safety and potential “big nickel” defender. In other words, I think his best role could be as a hybrid defender where he can make plays on the perimeter/near the line of scrimmage.

That’s what he did more of a sophomore in high school and I think that’s where he projects best at Notre Dame. He has a different skill set than Ivan Taylor‍ and Cree Thomas‍, which is just fine for this current recruiting class.

Former Clemson safety Jayron Kearse wasn’t a great fit playing deep, but thrived in the right role in Brent Venables’ defense and he developed into a NFL player. I think Long has the potential to do the same.

Who he could be:

Former Clemson safety Jayron Kearse

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