Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football Slides Past Penn State In Rivals Recruiting Rankings
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Notre Dame Slides Past Penn State In Rivals Recruiting Rankings

Notre Dame and Penn State have been jockeying for position in the Rivals team recruiting rankings in the 2022 class, trading spots inside the top 10 for the past few weeks after either team lands a new commitment.

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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Notre Dame Fighting Irish football head coach Brian Kelly
Brian Kelly and Notre Dame currently have a top-10 class in the 2022 cycle. (Fighting Irish Digital Media)

With the commitment of Ponchatoula (La.) High wide receiver Amorion Walker on Wednesday morning, the Irish moved up one spot to No. 7 in the Rivals rankings, swapping spots with the Nittany Lions.

Notre Dame is just a minuscule 13 points ahead of Penn State, so the swapping of spots may continue. Walker’s commitment gave Notre Dame 60 points per the Rivals formula, giving the Irish 954 in total.

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, the Irish would shoot up from No. 7 to No. 4, passing Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Texas along the way.

Ohio State’s 2022 class is the clear No. 1 in the country and already has 11 commitments — 10 of which are at least as four-star prospects. The Buckeyes’ class points total is already at 1,861, which is more than 500 points than LSU (1,323) in second place.

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

Walker received his scholarship offer from Notre Dame on Nov. 6 and was a top target for the Irish coaching staff. Mississippi State was considered the early team to beat in Walker’s recruitment, as his father, Robert Walker, played tight end for the Bulldogs.

Florida State, Kansas State and others made a run at Walker as well, but even without a campus visit, the Louisiana product locked in an early pledge to the Irish.

“I love the coaching staff and the connections we made,” Walker said. “They really took their time to get to know me. They have big time football and academics there. I wanted to be the first receiver on the board and help lead the class. I really believe in that.

“My family has never been scared about me getting out of state and going far from home. It doesn’t get any better than Notre Dame.”

Rivals ranks Walker as a three-star recruit.

“Walker shows the ability to take the top off of opposing defense,” Rivals.com south central recruiting analyst Sam Spiegelman said of Walker. “He's a long-strider with good downfield speedy and is long and presents a big target for his quarterbacks.”

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