Four-star OT Charles Jagusah commits to Notre Dame
Charles Jagusah didn't want a livestream or a commitment ceremony to announce his college decision. The four-star offensive tackle from Rock Island (Ill.) Alleman Catholic had different plans.
“I’m just going to send out a tweet and go hit the weight room," Jagusah told Inside ND Sports on Wednesday.
The 2023 recruit did exactly that Thursday morning when he shared his verbal commitment to Notre Dame on Twitter. The Irish beat out Michigan, Arkansas and Missouri, among others, in Jagusah's recruitment. He made official visits to all four schools in June.
“I’ve been thinking about if for a couple weeks, and I was really split between Michigan and Notre Dame," Jagusah said. "I thought about it and woke up one day and was like, ‘All right, I think I have it figured out.’”
Jagusah received a scholarship offer from former Notre Dame offensive line coach Jeff Quinn last August. He then attended the Notre Dame-USC game on Oct. 23 to get a better sense for the Irish.
Notre Dame saw a staff shakeup when head coach Brian Kelly left for LSU in late November and Quinn wasn't brought back on new head coach Marcus Freeman's staff. But Jagusah remained a Notre Dame priority.
That was clear when new offensive line coach Harry Hiestand, working at Notre Dame for a second time, showed up at Jagusah's school on the first day his hiring was made official in January.
“From day one, he’s been one of those guys you can depend on to get out and help you," Jagusah said. "If you have any questions for him, he’s always there to help. He really wants to see guys get better, and that’s the big thing for me.”
Jagusah appreciated the success Hiestand had in his previous stint at Notre Dame (2012-17), in which he coached four eventual first-round picks and led the best offensive line in the country, as recognized by the Joe Moore Award, in 2017.
“His résumé of the guys he’s developed shows what kind of a person he is and that he can get the best out of people," Jagusah said. "He finds the right guys that he knows he can develop. I think that could be me.”
Rivals ranks the 6-foot-7, 312-pound Jagusah as the No. 10 offensive tackle and the No. 122 prospect overall in the 2023 class.
"Jagusah is one of the most intriguing prospects in his class due to his physical gifts and upside," said Rivals national analyst Clint Cosgrove. "He has the frame, bend and athleticism to develop into a dominant offensive lineman at the next level. He is a (state) champion wrestler, has an old school work ethic and when everything comes together, he has a chance to be a very special player."
Jagusah became the fifth offensive lineman to join Notre Dame's 2023 class following four-star offensive tackles Sam Pendleton, Sullivan Absher and Elijah Paige and three-star offensive guard Joe Otting. The Irish are up to 16 total commitments in the class, which is ranked No. 3 in the country by Rivals.
Jagusah might be the most likely in Notre Dame's class to be the next great Hiestand disciple.
“When I watched him on film," said Prep Football Report recruiting analyst Tom Lemming, "the balance is exceptional, (and so are) his feet, but he doesn't overpower guys yet. I think that will come with the strength training. He has as much potential as Mike McGlinchey and Ronnie Stanley. Working with Harry Hiestand means he could be a No. 1 draft choice in four years.”
In February, Jagusah finished his junior wrestling season with an Illinois High School Association Class 1A state championship in the 285-pound weight class. He won all 41 matches throughout the season.
Then Jagusah turned his attention back to recruiting. In April, he made unofficial visits to Notre Dame and Michigan. He fit his four official visits into an 11-day window in June to accommodate his mother's busy work schedule. Both his mother and girlfriend accompanied him on his official visits to Michigan and Notre Dame.
The people at Notre Dame won him over.
"I got along pretty well with the players when I came for my official," Jagusah said. "I’ve always had a good relationship with this new coaching staff. They were really what was the big difference for me.”
That included Freeman, who scheduled regular phone conversations with Jagusah. Freeman's involvement in Jagusah's recruitment mattered a lot to him.
"I’ve gone through two coaches in high school," Jagusah said. "The stability is something that I’m looking for a lot. That was another big thing that I got to see. He has a plan and a vision for the team. He brought in the people to get it headed in the right direction. That vision is really something I can buy into.”
With a decision out of the way, Jagusah can get back to work.
“There was a little bit of pressure, because you want to make the right decision," Jagusah said. "But there are a lot of things that factor into making the right decision. You have to trade certain things off.
"I felt pretty good about it then, and it definitely feels a lot better to be done now.”
• Talk with Notre Dame fans on The Insider Lounge.
• Like us on Facebook: Inside ND Sports
• Follow us on Instagram: @insideNDsports
• Subscribe to the Inside ND Sports channel on YouTube.