Notre Dame Football Moves Into Top 5 In Early 2022 Recruiting Rankings
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Notre Dame Moves Into Top Five In Early 2022 Recruiting Rankings

By landing Corona (Calif.) Centennial cornerback Jaden Mickey on Sunday, Notre Dame jumped into Rivals’ top five in the 2022 recruiting rankings nine months from the December National Signing Day.

Yes, it’s very early in the 2022 cycle and there is so much more movement to be had in the rankings before it’s all said and done but tracking them early on is still interesting.

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Brian Kelly currently has a top five class in the Rivals 2022 recruiting, but it is very early.
Brian Kelly currently has a top five class in the Rivals 2022 recruiting, but it is very early. (Photo by Mike Miller)

As a four-star prospect outside the Rivals250 with a 5.8 recruit ranking, Mickey gave Notre Dame’s 2022 class 105 points. The Irish’s total improved to 1,059, which moved Brian Kelly’s program past Penn State and Texas A&M to the No. 5 spot.

Ohio State, LSU, Georgia and Oklahoma are the four teams ahead of Notre Dame in the rankings, respectively. For comparison’s sake, the Buckeye’s class has 1,861 total points with its 11 commitments.

If Notre Dame is able to beat out Michigan and Wisconsin for Traverse City (Mich.) Central inside linebacker Joshua Burnham next Wednesday, the Irish would add 144 points to its total. If no more commitments are added to the teams ahead of Notre Dame, then the Irish would jump ahead of Oklahoma for the No. 4 spot and be on the heels at Georgia for the No. 3 position.

For more details on the Rivals rankings formula, click here.

Mickey narrowed down his recruitment to California, Northwestern, Notre Dame and Oregon before choosing the Fighting Irish. He went into a Zoom call last Monday with Notre Dame defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman and cornerbacks coach Mike Mickens without the intention to commit, but by the end of the call, he informed the Irish staff that he wanted to give his verbal pledge.

“Notre Dame is Notre Dame,” Mickey told BlueandGold.com. “There’s great football and academics there. After I was on the Zoom call with Coach Freeman, I knew he was a good coach because of what he did at Cincinnati. It was amazing.

“I felt comfortable with him and Coach Mickens and thought I can fit in there.”

Mickey is Notre Dame’s first defensive back pledge of the 2022 class. Rivals ranks him as a four-star prospect, the No. 20 player in California and the nation’s No. 35 cornerback.

During his sophomore season in 2019, Mickey posted 31 tackles, one tackle for loss, six interceptions (two returned for touchdowns) and five pass deflections. California did not have fall sports in 2020, but Mickey will have a shortened junior season this spring.

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