Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2020 ATH Daniyel Ngata: “Notre Dame was way different"

February 13, 2018
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Notre Dame had a big Junior Day in January, but the Irish also hosted 2020 Folsom (Calif.) athlete Daniyel Ngata‍. The 5-foot-9, 180-pounder is the younger brother of 2019 four-star receiver Joseph Ngata‍, and the two made the trip to South Bend together. 

“My older brother holds an offer from Notre Dame, and he was talking to a coach,” Ngata told Irish Sports Daily. “He gave me his number, and I had a long talk with coach (Del) Alexander. He explained why he was offered me at the end of the call after explaining why he was offering me.” 

Ngata holds offers from Arizona State, San Diego State, San Jose State and Utah, but the offer from the Irish caught him a little off guard.  

“Notre Dame is a big school for me,” stated Ngata. “To be honest, I didn’t know I was going to get an offer from a big school, especially this early.”

The visit to South Bend opened Ngata’s eyes as it was the first time he had left to West Coast for a college visit. 

“It’s just a great school,” explained Ngata. “The tradition, the school, and the football – it’s just great to have an offer from a school that takes everything so seriously. 

“It was my first time in the Midwest to visit a school. I’ve been to visit Pac-12 teams like Oregon and Washington, but when I went to Notre Dame, it was nothing like those schools.

“Notre Dame was way different. Everything was old school, and I loved it. It was way more beautiful than other colleges I’ve seen.” 

Academics are a big deal in the Ngata household, and the Folsom star has made sure they will be a priority in his recruitment.

“The main thing I look at is the education,” said Ngata. “If I don’t make it to the NFL, I want to excel in my schooling and get my education. I want to leave college with a degree. 

“The second thing I look at is the football. I can play in Hawaii or the snow. I can play in any weather, so I’m mainly focused on the education and football.” 

Washington was the school most people thought the Ngata brothers would end up at, as their older brother Ariel is a linebacker for the Huskies. However, much of that talk is a bit premature as they’ve only really joked around about it. 

“My oldest brother goes to Washington,” Ngata said. “My dad had us sit down and talk about all of us going to Washington, but he said whatever choice we make, he’ll support us all the way. 

“We were joking about it all, but we haven’t had a serious talk about all of us playing together.” 

As for life on the field, Ngata ran for 863 yards and 18 total touchdowns in 2017. Ngata believes he’s a three-down back and can provide a little bit of everything when the ball is in his hands.

“I see myself as a balanced running back that can do it all,” said Ngata. “If a coach wants a power back, I can give power. If a coach wants speed, I can give speed. 

“I am working on my footwork and my catching. I listed myself as an athlete so I can go around as a receiver and defensive back too.” 

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