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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2025 Safety Commit Ethan Long Still Set With Notre Dame

February 13, 2024

It wasn’t a phone call Ethan Long‍ wanted to receive.

When the 2025 Connecticut safety committed to Notre Dame last month, safeties coach Chris O’Leary was a big reason why. 

Now, O’Leary was calling to let Long know that he was leaving the Irish to take a job with the Los Angeles Chargers. 

“I'm not going to lie, I was emotional,” Long says. “I was very emotional. He's done so much for me and taught me so much, and I just really wanted him to coach me. 

“I understand the college game and how it works. When good things come, you've got to take advantage.”

Long is comforted by the fact that cornerbacks coach Mike Mickens, defensive coordinator Al Golden and head coach Marcus Freeman will take on added roles.

“I trust them and Coach Freeman,” Long says. “I trust them with everything I have to develop me as a player. So, it didn't change anything.”

Long also appreciated the fact that O’Leary reached out when he didn’t need to.

“It means a lot,” says Long. “It means that he cares about me and that our bond was stronger than we thought. He said he's always going to be there for me. He's going to be in my corner and if I ever need anything, I can call him or reach out anytime. 

“That means a lot to me because he really was an important person to me. I felt comfortable going to him when I needed help with anything. He was just a guardian who really was always there for me.”

And O’Leary’s departure isn’t going to change Long’s recruitment at all.

“I'm happy with my decision,” he says. “I committed to Notre Dame, the school and Coach Freeman. I understand what comes with that and what it means to have those two behind me and having my back. I'm going to have Coach Freeman's back as well and trust him with the process.”

In fact, Long remains busy recruiting others to join him in South Bend, tweeting out a graphic on Monday asking who is going to be next to join Notre Dame’s 2025 recruiting class.

Long has some preferences, his top one being his friend and Brunswick School teammate, offensive lineman Matty Augustine.

“I hope my teammate,” Long says. “I hope my teammate because that'll be a big pull. 

“And then get some more defensive players; Dallas Golden. Mark Zackery, JaDon Blair. JaDon and I were texting and hopefully he comes around.”

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