Notre Dame gets the letter: Consensus four-star defensive end Aidan Gobaira
Chantilly High School; Va.Measurements: 6-foot-6, 230 pounds.Accolades: The consensus four-star ranks as the No. 11 weakside defensive end in the class and the No. 207 player overall, per rivals.com. Gobaira will play in the All-America Bowl on Jan. 8.
Other notable offers: Arizona State chased Gobaira more than anyone else, though he also held offers from the ACC (Virginia Tech, Virginia, Pittsburgh), the Big Ten (Nebraska, Michigan State, Rutgers) and the SEC (Vanderbilt, Kentucky).
Projected position: When first hired as Notre Dame’s defensive coordinator, Marcus Freeman’s first two commitments came from defensive ends listed at 6-foot-6. He clearly will focus on length on the edge.
Quick take: Gobaira desperately needs to add weight, but not at the expense of quickness. His lacrosse background should emphasize how athletic he is and why Freeman sought him.
Short-term roster outlook: Irish defensive line coach Mike Elston has made depth a priority along his front, and Notre Dame did not exactly excel in finding ends in the previous class, ending up with two in Will Schweitzer and Jason Onye. That could yield playing time for Gobaira sooner than otherwise expected.
Long-term depth chart impact: That relative miss in 2021 at defensive end should be to Gobaira’s benefit. After Isaiah Foskey and Justin Ademilola work their way through the program no later than the end of the 2022 season, the Irish will have only Nana Osafo-Mensah as a proven commodity on the edge, and he will be down to two years of eligibility at that point.
EARLY SIGNING PERIOD COVERAGE
Consensus four-star defensive end Aiden Gobaira
Consensus four-star safety Nolan Ziegler
Consensus three-star quarterback Steve Angeli
Consensus three-star defensive tackle Donovan Hinish, Kurt’s brother
Consensus four-star linebackers Jaylen Sneed and Joshua Burnham
Punter Bryce McFerson, former Wake Forest commit
Consensus four-star running back Jadarian Price
Tight ends Eli Raridon and Holden Staes
Consensus four-star defensive end Tyson Ford, the first commit to Marcus Freeman back in January
Cornerbacks Benjamin Morrison and Jayden Bellamy
Consensus four-star linebacker Niuafe Tuihalamaka, former USC commit
Consensus four-star receiver Tobias Merriweather, the only receiver in the class
Consensus four-star cornerback Jaden Mickey
Five offensive linemen complete Irish class of 2022, including quartet of four-stars