Notre Dame’s defensive recruiting continues to add 4-star prospects to its 2022 haul adding 4-star corner Jaden Mickey out of California on Sunday. The Irish defensive coaching staff, with an assist from Brian Polian, added Mickey as the first defensive back recruit in the class in what might not be the only 4-star commitment for Notre Dame this week.
Jaden Mickey (6′”0, 175 lbs) is a composite 4-star prospect from Corona, California and Centennial High School – the prep alma mater of recently-graduated Notre Dame wide receiver, Javon McKinley. He had a final four that included Cal, Northwestern, and Oregon in addition to the Irish. He also held offers from USC, Georgia, and Michigan State.
Because California did not have their high school football season in the fall due to the pandemic, Mickey has only completed his sophomore season at this point, but that was enough for Notre Dame and others to offer him. In 2019, Mickey collected six interceptions and 11 pass breakups. His efforts earned him 2nd Team Sophomore All-American honors from Max Preps in 2019.
For someone who has only completed his sophomore season, Mickey is pretty polished already. Notre Dame didn’t just land a raw corner prospect with traits needed to excel at the position, they landed one who has great ball skills and already tracks the ball really well. There’s room for growth, of course, but Jaden Mickey is already very technically sound.
This was a fast-moving recruitment for Notre Dame with the Irish only offering in early February and collecting a commitment a few weeks later. Brian Polian was the lead recruiter with Mickey coming out of California, but defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman and cornerbacks coach Mike Mickens played a big role as well.
Notre Dame has struggled to land corners like Mickey in the last few years. Former cornerbacks coach Todd Lygtht did not have great results on the recruiting trail despite great results in terms of player development. Phillip Riley was a rare 4-star corner for the Irish in the class of 2021. That makes landing Mickey, the #261 overall prospect in the country according to 247Sports composite rankings, as the first defensive back in the class huge for the Irish.
The recruiting momentum that Marcus Freeman brought with him in January when he replaced Clark Lea has continued as we enter the spring and should only keep going this week. Notre Dame is expected to pick up another commitment from a 4-star defensive player on Wednesday when linebacker Joshua Burnham announces his college decision on St. Patrick’s Day (Wednesday).