BlueAndGold – Notre Dame Football Recruiting: Five Things We Learned In August – Irish Illustrated

August was another busy month for Brian Kelly and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish coaching staff. BlueandGold.com gives you five things we learned from August.

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Titus Mokiao-Atimalala is a priority for the Notre Dame coaching staff.

Titus Mokiao-Atimalala is a priority for the Notre Dame coaching staff. (Rivals.com)

1. Notre Dame Offers Pair Of 2022 Quarterback Recruits

On August 17, Notre Dame offensive coordinator Tommy Rees dished out his first two quarterback offers in the 2022 class. The Irish were one of the last schools in the entire Football Bowl Subdivision — if not the very last — to do so.

Owensboro (Ky.) High’s Gavin Wimsatt, who Rivals ranks as the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback and No. 50 overall prospect nationally, was one recipient of an Irish offer. Notre Dame joined Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, TCU, Virginia Tech and West Virginia on his offer sheet of more than a dozen schools.

“They’re a great school, usually one of the top in the country,” Wimsatt said. “They’re a really good quarterback school, and the academics are great there. They have a ton of tradition.”

Last fall, Wimsatt threw for 2,729 yards with 31 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, plus ran for 564 yards and 12 scores, while leading his team to a 12-2 record.

Just a few minutes after Wimsatt announced his offer, Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic’s Steven Angeli, who Rivals ranks as the nation’s No. 12 pro-style quarterback, posted his news of a Notre Dame offer to social media.

“I took time to soak it in with my family and call a couple of people; that’s why I didn’t post it right away,” Angeli said. “It was just surreal for me and my family. Notre Dame means so much to our family; it was truly a great experience.”

Angeli holds offers from LSU, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State and Penn State.

Per MaxPreps, Angeli completed 30 of 49 passes for 372 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in 2019 in mainly a backup role.

2. Another Hot Recruiting Month

Last August was a recruiting dead period and one of the slowest news months I can remember in my career.

This August was also a dead period, but the times are a lot different. Last year, Notre Dame nearly wrapped up its entire 2020 class by the beginning of July and already got a strong nucleus of its 2021 class. They were also looking forward to having many big-time visitors on campus for the fall.

Notre Dame hasn’t had visits since Feb. 1, and they remain unlikely for this fall. Virtual recruiting is the new normal, and the Irish staff has had to recruit hard this month.

The Irish added four new commitments as well. In the 2021 class, Jonesborough (Tenn.) David Crockett linebacker Prince Kollie, Clarkston (Mich.) guard Rocco Spindler and Los Gatos (Calif.) defensive end Will Schweitzer announced pledges to the Fighting Irish, who are up to 18 verbals.

Notre Dame landed its third commitment of the 2022 class when Grand Rapids (Mich.) Catholic Central linebacker Nolan Ziegler picked the Irish over Michigan and others.

3. Notre Dame’s Final Targets Are Clear

Notre Dame only has a few spots remaining in the 2021 class, and it’s not a big secret who they are anymore (now that Schweitzer has committed, which was a secret).

Notre Dame wants to add pieces at wide receiver and defensive back, plus other prospects who are just too good to turn down. The Irish will make room for West Bloomfield (Mich.) running back Donovan Edwards and Lititz (Pa.) Warwick offensive tackle Nolan Rucci no matter what.

At wide receiver, Athens (Ga.) Academy’s Deion Colzie, Atlanta (Ga.) Pace Academy’s Jayden Thomas and Baltimore (Md.) Mount St. Joseph’s Dont’e Thornton Jr. are the key names to know.

Ewa Beach (Hawaii) Campbell’s Titus Mokiao-Atimalala could also play wide receiver, but the staff loves how he projects as a defensive back. Another key target remaining in the secondary is Los Angeles Loyola’s Ceyair Wright.

Notre Dame is also considering taking a kicker in the 2021 class, and Colorado commit Joshua Bryan from Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon is someone the staff is eyeing. He is ranked as a “six-star” per Kohl’s Professional Camps.

Of course, it’s always possible that Notre Dame extends more offers as well, especially in the secondary.

4. 2022 Recruiting Is Heating Up

Sept. 1 marks the first day where college coaches are directly allowed to reach out to prospects in the 2022 class.

Up until Tuesday, college coaches have had to reach out to the recruit’s high school coach to set up times to talk with the prospect, or the two parties would just have set weekly calls where the kid would call the coach. But now, college coaches are allowed direct contact with recruits – cutting out the middleman.

The Notre Dame staff will be busy on Tuesday, and the Irish will look to grow its 2022 commitment list.

5. Mitchell Evans Is Legit

Wadsworth (Ohio) Senior’s Mitchell Evans is committed to Notre Dame as a tight end, but in his senior season debut on Friday, he took the reins behind the center and lit up the scoreboard.

He led Wadsworth to a 54-21 victory and threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns on 15-of-24 passing, plus added a rushing score.

Evans is quite the athlete and is committed to catching passes for Notre Dame, but some pundits have speculated that his body type could translate to him being best suited for offensive tackle or defensive end at the next level. But in the meantime, here Evans is putting up big numbers as a quarterback.

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