Notre Dame Weekly Recruiting Recap: Nine 2023 Offers Go Out
With lead recruiting analyst Mike Singer on vacation, the normal YouTube video recapping the last week’s activity makes a one-time transition to written form.
Most of the action was in the form of underclassmen offers. Notre Dame dished out nine of them this week to players in the 2023 class. Here's a rundown of each.
Tre Edwards earned his Notre Dame offer on February 17, becoming yet another name to know on defense in the 2023 class. The Chula Vista (Calif.) Mater Dei Catholic linebacker grew up loving Notre Dame football and watching every Saturday with his father, so this could be an offer to watch.
Notre Dame offered rising 2023 defensive end Jalen Thompson this week, hailing from Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech. The Irish do not have a great history recruiting Cass Tech, but there’s little downside in offering someone of Thompson’s caliber. He will likely be a tough pull, but Notre Dame and defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman have shown a relentless attitude in recruiting recently.
One of the more interesting offers of the week came to 2023 running back Cedric Baxter, who is committed to Florida State. The Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater star committed to the Seminoles back on July 29, extremely early for a 2023 recruit.
Baxter has continued to earn significant offers since his commitment, and Notre Dame is just the latest. Baxter told BlueandGold.com that he was ‘shocked’ by the Notre Dame offer and that he is listening to the pitch, because it is “an excellent program that has been doing big things.” This may be a recruitment to watch.
Three defensive back offers went out this week, with the most notable being 2023 safety Caleb Downs out of Hoschton (Ga.) Mill Creek.
Notre Dame has been successful in recruiting defensive backs from the Peach State recently (Khari Gee, Kyle Hamilton, KJ Wallace) and is looking to hit again here. It will be tough sledding to land Downs, however, as he holds offers from Alabama, Georgia, Florida and LSU. Clemson has also been in regular contact.
Another Georgia safety offer in the 2023 class this week went to Michael Daugherty, a 6-0, 165-pounder out of Grayson. Daugherty, similar to Downs, holds a ton of big-time offers and will be a hot commodity in the 2023 cycle. Georgia, Florida, Auburn, LSU and others are already in the mix. Rivals recruiting analyst Chad Simmons put in a FutureCast pick in December for Daugherty to commit to the in-state Bulldogs.
2023 Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton athlete Cole Martin added a Notre Dame offer on February 15, making it one of his biggest offers yet. The 5-10, 175-pounder has impressive speed and looks to be a cornerback at the next level.
The most intriguing offer went to linebacker Drayk Bowen out of Merrillville (Ind.) Andrean. A Notre Dame offer to an in-state kid is often significant, and that is the case with Bowen.
The 6-2, 202-pounder plays football and baseball and has gotten the ‘OK’ from Freeman to try and pull off both at Notre Dame. I am not ready to put in a FutureCast pick for Bowen quite yet, but I am getting there. The Irish are going to be tough to beat here.
A second offer this week to a running back from Florida went out Friday afternoon, to Lehigh (Fla.) Lehigh Acres' Richard Young. The 6-0, 187-pound Young is considered to be one of the elite backs in his class and has offers from Georgia, LSU, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, Florida, among others. Notre Dame is getting in the picture early and will face stiff competition.
The third running back offer of the week came in on Friday afternoon, to Roswell (Ga.) Bless Trinity's Justice Haynes. Georgia, Florida, Auburn, Penn State and others like what they see in Haynes, who is more of an all-purpose back compared to Young and Baxter.
Jake Taylor's Top Three
As Mike Singer highlighted in his article, four-star 2022 Las Vegas Bishop Gorman offensive tackle Jake Taylor narrowed his recruitment down to a top three of Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Alabama. A recent offer from the Crimson Tide has muddied what looked like an Irish vs. Sooners battle.
Notre Dame Still Working On Kaden Saunders
Notre Dame has continued its pursuit of 2022 four-star wide receiver Kaden Saunders, a Penn State commit. The 5-10, 170-pound speedster out of Westerville (Ohio) has been committed to the Nittany Lions since July 25, but is still listening to Notre Dame’s pitch.
“I’m committed to Penn State right now, but I’m always open to talking to coaches and building relationships,” Saunders told Singer earlier this week.
Saunders speedster noted in an interview with Rivals that he’s consistently in contact with about three or four programs, including Notre Dame.
“I’ve always liked the coaching staff,” Saunders said. “I feel like our relationship has stayed pretty strong even though I’ve been committed. They respect that but are going to keep recruiting me.”
Saunders speaks to the Fighting Irish staff about once or twice per week, primarily with offensive coordinator Tommy Rees and wide receivers coach Del Alexander.
• Talk about it inside Rockne’s Roundtable.
• Learn more about our print and digital publication, Blue & Gold Illustrated.
• Watch our videos and subscribe to our YouTube channel.
• Sign up for Blue & Gold's news alerts and daily newsletter.
• Subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcasts.
• Like us on Facebook.