Notre Dame is still working on finishing off its recruiting class of 2021 with spots open along the offensive line and at wide receiver and linebacker, but in the meantime, they kicked off the class of 2022 with a bang the last few days with commitments from a pair of four-star commits – offensive lineman Joey Tanona and tight end Jack Nickel.
Over the weekend, Joey Tanona committed to Notre Dame over Arizona State, Iowa, LSU, Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State. That is some good company for Notre Dame to beat out for an offensive lineman. Tanona’s rankings back up such an offer list as well. 247Sports ranks him as the #131 overall prospect in the country and 13th ranked tackle.
Tanona’s scouting report has the sounds of a lineman who will fit right in along a Notre Dame offensive line that has been known for producing elite NFL linemen in recent years.
Feet and explosiveness make Tanona unique to his peers. He has the quickness, balance and flexibility to make any block on the field. Finishes blocks with power and violence. Tanona emerged this past fall playing against some of the best competition in the state and helped Zionsville make a nice run in the state playoffs in Indiana’s largest class. A force in the run game for Zionsville and already strong in pass pro. An extremely high-motored kid and his coach raves about the high IQ Tanona plays with as well.National Perception of Joey Tanona Commitment, 247 Sports
For the second year a row, Notre Dame secured a commitment from an elite in-state lineman. For the 2021 cycle, it was Blake Fisher – the mayor of Notre Dame recruiting. Fisher and Tanona continue a lineage of Indiana linemen during the Brian Kelly era along with the Martin brothers Nick and Zach, and Braxston Cave, the starting center on Notre Dame’s 2012 squad that went to the BCS Championship.
After losing out on a few high profile offensive linemen in the last few months, the news of Tanona’s commitment should at least quiet down some of offensive line coach Jeff Quinn‘s critics for a little while.
Notre Dame wasn’t done laying the foundation for the class of 2022 with Tanona, though. On Monday, Notre Dame continued its recent run of tight ends out of Georgia with a commitment from composite 4-star tight end, Jack Nickel.
Nickel had been linked with Notre Dame for weeks as a possible commitment and finally pulled the trigger on announcing on Monday afternoon. He held offers from Florida State, LSU, Miami, Penn State, Oregon, Penn State, Wisconsin, and Virginia Tech, among others, before he committed to Notre Dame on Monday. Again, that is good company to be around.
247Sports ranks Nickel as the #276 overall prospect in the country and the 12th rated tight end.
The Nickel commitment is the first significant recruiting addition for new tight ends coach John McNulty who took over those duties following the departure/dismissal of Chip Long in December. McNulty’s first big win could arguably have been retaining class of 2021 commit Cane Berrong, also a Georgia native like Nickel, but Nickel is the first new commit for McNulty.
There is a chance that McNulty might not have to wait long for his second commitment. Class of 2021 jumbo tight end Mitchell Evans could be the next commitment for the Irish.
Notre Dame still has a lot of work to do to wrap up the class of 2021, and needs some luck to make it a top 10 class, but for the class of 2022, the Irish are off to a great start with Tanona and Nickel.