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Notre Dame recruiting stays hot with commitment of 2025 S Ethan Long

2025 safety Ethan Long has committed to Notre Dame football. He is the second commitment of the month after the Irish landed 2025 DE Christopher Burgess Jr. on Saturday.
2025 safety Ethan Long has committed to Notre Dame football. He is the second commitment of the month after the Irish landed 2025 DE Christopher Burgess Jr. on Saturday.

Notre Dame football ended its season with momentum on the field, winning five of its final six games, including its Sun Bowl matchup with Oregon State.

Off the field, the Irish accumulated veteran talent through the transfer portal, headlined by quarterback Riley Leonard, and they lured Mike Denbrock away from LSU to be Notre Dame’s next offensive coordinator after Gerad Parker's mid-December departure to Troy.

Amid roster and staff changes, head coach Marcus Freeman hasn't let up on high school recruiting — and Notre Dame's relentless pursuit of its recruiting targets paid dividends again on Monday with the commitment of 2025 safety Ethan Long.

Long, a four-star safety out of Greenwich (Conn.) Brunswick High, chose the Irish over finalists Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin. He visited Notre Dame four different times in his recruitment, more than any other school.

“You don't choose Notre Dame, Notre Dame chooses you,” Long told Inside ND Sports. “And that's exactly how I feel when I step on that campus. I feel like I'm at home and right where I'm supposed to be.”



Per Rivals, Long is the No. 27 safety in the 2025 class and the No. 1 player in Connecticut. Despite not being ranked inside the Rivals250, Long holds a 5.8 rating, which makes him an All-America candidate with first-to-third-round NFL Draft potential and among the nation’s top 300-325 prospects, according to the Rivals football recruiting rankings formula.

"Long is an impressive athlete who could play multiple positions on the defensive side of the ball," Rivals national recruiting analyst Adam Friedman said. "He has the speed and ball-hawking abilities to find success as a safety. Long is a physical tackler and should make receivers think twice about running across the middle.

"For those same reasons, Long could end up playing closer to the box as a linebacker in certain situations. His athleticism and ability to quickly read and react to plays could make him a difference-maker inside the box."

As a junior, Long totaled 56 tackles, three interceptions and three forced fumbles for Brunswick head coach Wayne McGillicuddy. Long's primary recruiters on Notre Dame's coaching staff have been Freeman, safeties coach Chris O'Leary and director of recruiting Chad Bowden. Defensive coordinator Al Golden and cornerbacks coach Mike Mickens have also pitched in on ND's effort to secure Long's commitment.

During his June visit, the 6-foot-2, 188-pound Long received one-on-one instruction from O'Leary, and he said the two spent extensive time in individual meetings going over film, defensive scheme responsibilities and similarities between Long's talent and former Irish All-America safety Kyle Hamilton.

"Long will need a year or two to develop physically and adjust to the speed of the college game, but the natural tools he brings to the field should allow him to find his footing relatively quickly," Friedman said.


Long is the 13th commitment of Notre Dame’s 2025 class and the second safety commit — along with four-star Ivan Taylor — to join what O'Leary is building. The Irish are also pursuing 2025 safety JaDon Blair, a four-star target out of Winston-Salem (N.C.) Mount Tabor. The three visited together in July for Notre Dame's Grill & Chill recruiting event, and Long and Blair met up once more in September for the Irish home contest against Ohio State.

“I want to be a part of something special and want to work for everything,” Long said. “God's got me, and this is my path.”

After Long's commitment, Notre Dame's 2025 class has a stronghold on its No. 1 position in the Rivals 2025 recruiting team rankings with a 1,552-point total. Long is the second commitment for the Irish this month after 2025 four-star defensive end Christopher Burgess Jr.'s commitment on Saturday.

In addition to his four recruiting visits, Long has several more trips to ND's campus under his belt from the last decade. Long's cousin, Austin Webster, a former ND walk-on wide receiver and Irish team captain, played in South Bend from 2014-18. Long attended many of Webster's home games and saw Notre Dame's home atmosphere firsthand.

"I always loved Notre Dame and when they said you have an offer, it just brought back all those memories of visiting," Long said after his offer in May. "I knew all the hard work will pay off, [and] it was just truly a blessing. It's really one of my dream schools."



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