Audric Estime, one of Notre Dame’s latest offers and a last-minute signee in December, added another award to his trophy case last week. Max Preps named the big-time, 4-star running back the New Jersey player of the year. In December, NJ.com also named Estime their New Jersey Player of the Year.
Estime’s stats from 2020 make it easy to see why he added another state player of the year award. He gashed opposing defenses for 1,857 yards and 22 touchdowns in only eight games in a COVID-shortened season. That’s good for 232 yards a game. Yeah, that’s pretty good.
Estime did his damage against some of the best competition in the state of New Jersey too. St. Joseph Regional in northern New Jersey faced the likes of Don Bosco Prep, St. Peter’s Prep, and Bergan Catholic. Notre Dame has already offered Bergan Catholic quarterback Steve Angeli as one of just three quarterback offers for the class of 2022.
I still have a hard time understanding why it took so long for Notre Dame to offer Estime. I understand wanting to wait on Donovan Edwards, but when Notre Dame’s ill-fated all-in approach with Will Shipley failed, Estime probably should have been in the initial set of offers to go out.
Luckily for Notre Dame, Estime still jumped at the chance to sign with the Fighting Irish, even with the late offer. Right now, he is the only running back in the class as Notre Dame awaits a final decision from Logan Diggs though all signs point to Diggs joining Estime in the Notre Dame backfield on Wednesday during the February Signing Day.
Notre Dame’s backfield is in great shape in 2021, with Kyren Williams, Chris Tyree, and C’bo Flemister leading the way, but there could still be a role for Estime next fall, given his size. Notre Dame does not have a back built like Estime. Notre Dame listed him at 215 lbs already in their Signing Day profile. Flemister, who was listed at 201 lbs during the 2020 season, was Notre Dame’s “big back” a year ago. It shouldn’t be shocking to anyone if Estime carved out a niche as a short-yardage back with his size.