It’s been relatively quiet on the recruiting front for a little while now for Notre Dame football, but things could heat up in a hurry following a massive recruiting weekend for the class of 2022 – and beyond. Notre Dame is hosting several commits for 2022 in addition to several high-profile, difference-making prospects who remain uncommitted at the very top of Notre Dame’s recruiting board.
Commits on Campus
Notre Dame is set to host ¾ of their linebacking corps for 2022 with Joshua Burnham, Nolan Ziegler, and Junior Tuihalamaka. In addition, offensive linemen Joey Tanona and Ahston Craig, Cornerback Jaden Mickey, defensive back Devin Moore, corner Benjamin Morrison, wide receiver Tobias Merriweather, defensive end Aiden Gobiara, and tight ends Eli Raridon and Holden States are all expected to be on campus as well.
The most prominent visitor among the current commits, however, is wide receiver Amorion Walker. Walker’s profile blew up after his commitment to Notre Dame, and recently, Michigan has been putting on a full-court press to flip the Louisiana native. Getting Walker on campus this weekend is enormous because it has been a while since his last visit, and the Irish have a fight on their hands from the Wolverines, among others. As of now, it appears as though the staff will be able to hold off Michigan, but this is an important visit.
Can Notre Dame Swing Xavier Nwankpa?
The number 1 prospect left on the board for defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman is undoubtedly safety Xavier Nwankpa. With what we’ve seen from the safety position this year outside of Kyle Hamilton, it’s possible that Nwankpa would be in the starting lineup next fall for the Irish should he decide on Notre Dame.
Nwankpa is down to Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Iowa. Initially, most felt the Buckeyes were the most significant competition here, but Iowa seems to not only be Notre Dame’s most formidable challenger but they are also considered the leader. A great visit can easily change that – especially on the heels of a Purdue team that lost to Notre Dame by two touchdowns dominating the Hawkeyes on their home field a week ago.
With the luster of a magical season gone for Iowa and the Irish getting a chance to sell Nwankpa one more time on being the heir apparent to Hamilton, the path is there for the Irish to swing this back in their favor. Of course, Notre Dame has to knock his unofficial visit out of the park for that to happen.
Can Notre Dame finally haul in Billy Schrauth?
The recruitment of Billy Schrauth has been one of the more fascinating in a few years for Notre Dame. He looked like a Notre Dame lock a year ago. Then his recruitment lingered. And lingered some more. Eventually, it was widely believed that Wisconsin led and a commitment to the Badger was imminent. However, things appear to have swung back in Notre Dame’s favor in the last week or so.
This is a huge unofficial visit for Notre Dame because they need at least one more offensive lineman in this class – preferably two. Schrauth is a top 150 talent who could figure into the mix early in his career, given what we’ve seen at guard this season.
Last Chance to Impress Amil Wagner
Sticking on the offensive line, another huge visitor – figuratively and literally – is OT Amil Wagner. The top-200 overall prospect has been high on Notre Dame, but some feel Kentucky could be the team to beat. Wagner has a brother who recently played for the Wildcats. Notre Dame could be his last visit before he makes a decision time.
Wagner toured all of his favorites officially over the summer and made the rounds unofficially during the season. So this will be an unofficial visit, like Shcruath’s, while equally as important. If Notre Dame could pull off a Schrauth/Wagner combo to close out the OL haul, it would be a hell of a job by Jeff Quinn. Having Tanona and Craig on campus this weekend should only help with both prospects.
5-Star QB Committed to LSU on Campus
The most significant recruiting news of the week is LSU commitment Walker Howard, a 5-star quarterback in the class of 2022, unofficially visiting this weekend. Howard had initially planned on visiting for the Cincinnati game but had to cancel at the last minute after suffering a leg injury the night before his planned trip.
Any time you can get a 5-star QB on your campus this late in the cycle to a player committed to a program going through a coaching change, it’s big news. That said, Howard is an LSU legacy, so it’s probably a good idea that Notre Dame fans don’t get too excited just yet.
The Irish already have Bergen Catholic gunslinger Steve Angeli committed, but anytime you have the chance to add an elite arm like Howard, it’s a chance you have to take.
Can Notre Dame top off the impressive DL class with another elite lineman or two?
Notre Dame already has a great class of defensive linemen on board with Gobiara, Tyson Ford, and Donovan Hinish, but they’d love to add another interior lineman to the mix. They’ll have an opportunity to do that with two elite DT’s visiting. Hero Kanu will be using an official visit while Anthony Lucas is returning to Notre Dame, this time unofficially.
There was some optimism for Notre Dame and Lucas over the summer, but that has cooled off with no recruiting analyst having a great idea of where he’s leaning. Lucas was part of the June recruiting rush for Notre Dame. To date, there are no Crystal Ball predictions for Lucas. However, the door still seems open for Notre Dame to lure the Arizona native to South Bend. A dominating performance from the Irish defensive line certainly would help.
Kanu was a late offer for Notre Dame, but the Irish still snagged an official visit. However, after his trip to Oklahoma last weekend, a couple of Crystal Balls were placed for the Sooners. Kanu still has his visit to Notre Dame in addition to trips to Ohio State, LSU, and Georgia on tap in the coming weeks, though.
Utility H-back Carson Tabaracci is in town
Another late offer for Notre Dame was running back/h-back Carson Tabaracci. The Utah native visited his home-state Utes last weekend and doesn’t have any other official visits planned at this time. However, Notre Dame offered for his versatility and after seeing some of his senior film.
Impressive Visitors for Classes of 2023 and 2024
Notre Dame is also set to host an insane number of high-profile recruits for the class of 2023 and 2024, starting with commitments Brenan Vernon and Sedrick Irvin Jr.
5-star linebacker Brayk Brown has been to campus a few times and will be back in town this weekend. In addition, elite CB Justyn Rhett, OL Joshua Padilla, OL Kadyn Proctor, and DL Luke Montgomery from the class of 2023 will be as well. The full visit list will be pretty fluid for ‘23 and ‘24 prospects between now and the weekend, but suffice to say that a lot of groundwork for the next two cycles will be done over the next few days.