2022 TE Jack Nickel Commits To Notre Dame, Breaks Down His Decision
Notre Dame just pulled off a major coup in the state of Georgia.
Milton (Ga.) High tight end Jack Nickel has announced his commitment to the Fighting Irish, choosing Notre Dame over Florida State, Georgia Tech, LSU, Iowa, Louisville, Nebraska, Oregon, Penn State, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin and many others.
“A lot of schools have great football and great facilities, but Notre Dame’s academics and the football tradition are just second to none,” Nickel told BlueandGold.com before announcing his decision.
Nickel visited Notre Dame last October for the Fighting Irish’s triumph versus USC, but didn’t hold a scholarship offer at that point. And after former tight ends coach Chip Long departed from the program in December, Nickel had basically no contact with the Notre Dame staff.
But in May, after a couple of months on the job as Notre Dame’s new tight ends coach, John McNulty dished out a scholarship offer to Nickel.
“I think after talking to Coach McNulty about a week after they offered me, it became my favorite school,” Nickel said of the Fighting Irish. “When I watched the excellence presentation, it really set them apart.”
Nickel was on a Zoom call in mid-July with McNulty and recruiting coordinator Brian Polian and went through the aforementioned excellence presentation. The 6-4, 230-pounder was already leaning towards the Irish, but that video call put Notre Dame over the top.
“They showed the graduation rates of every school, and Notre Dame really cares about its players outside of football,” Nickel said. “There’s no other school that’s in the top 25 every year that’s also a top 20 academic school.”
Nickel kept in close contact with McNulty and Polian the past two months, and the relationships built during that short period of time were a factor in his decision.
“He was really the closer for me,” Nickel said of Polian. “He’s the one who closed the recruitment for me. He did a great job. He answered every question I had about Notre Dame.
“Considering that [McNulty] has 15 years of NFL experience, he definitely knows what he’s talking about. With that level of experience, it means a lot when they have interest in you.”
Nickel recently connected with Notre Dame tight end Brock Wright to get his final questions about the university and football program answered.
“He told me that Notre Dame is not the same as going to an SEC school with 40,000 people partying like crazy, but it will set you up for life after football — that’s what you’re coming here for,” he said. “It’s a huge family atmosphere compared to other schools.”
Nickel helped lead Milton to a 7A Georgia state championship and was named to the MaxPreps 2018 Freshmen All-American Team for his efforts that year.
As a sophomore, Nickel was named first-team 5-AAAAAAA all-region offense. He led the team with 30 catches for 437 yards and four touchdowns.
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