Sport “Tight End U” finds its next piece with Iowa TE Eli Raridon committing to Notre Dame
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At some point, describing Notre Dame as “Tight End U” becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Admittedly, that point was probably a few NFL draft picks ago, but with and then a new tight end commitment to come the same weekend, it is clear how the years of success can appeal to the next players likely to succeed.
announced a commitment to Notre Dame on Sunday. Suggesting any high school junior should be looked at as a future draft pick is unnecessarily bold — although it is also the premise of recruiting rankings — but the cause-and-effect at this particular position in South Bend seems clear.
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The NCAA will finally allow recruits to meet with coaches again in June, a hurdle Notre Dame overcame for one recruiting cycle but wanted no part of in another.For a school recruiting nationally and relying on its campus as its crown jewel to entice teenagers, the last 15 months have been a unique challenge, one Notre Dame met by finishing the class of 2021 at No. 9, per rivals.com’s recruiting rankings.
The No. 22 tight end in the class, per rivals.com, Raridon chose the Irish over homestate offers from Iowa and Iowa State, as well as from the majority of the Big Ten, Auburn and Vanderbilt. Standing 6-foot-6, he will need to add weight to his 220-pound frame, but that is to be expected at this stage in his development.
Raridon is comfortable using his height to attack a pass in the air, a comfort that can be associated with his talent playing above the rim on the basketball court. Looking at his basketball clips, Raridon’s athleticism could not be more apparent.
— Eli Raridon (@EliRaridon)
He has enough speed to warrant notice downfield. Not to throw more lofty comparisons around, but that speed is evident on the same seam route that and both relished at Notre Dame, forcing a linebacker to turn his hips in close coverage or a safety to risk getting blown by if he comes downhill in support. Add in Raridon’s possible catch radius, and those routes could make him a model of the modern tight end.
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Before then, though, the Irish will need to get some muscle onto his body. While a willing blocker, and largely successful at such in the Iowa prep ranks, Raridon will need to widen his shoulders to handle that responsibility at the next level.
Notre Dame Recruiting
The 12th commit in Notre Dame’s class of 2022, Raridon fills a vacancy created by the de-commitment of a few weeks ago, a de-commitment that signaled Raridon’s decision was likely not far off.
Raridon’s father played for the Irish along the offensive line in the early 2000s.
Inside the Irish
— Eli Raridon (@EliRaridon)
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Notre Dame 99-to-0: No. 97 Gabriel Rubio, early-enrolled freshman defensive tackle the size of a ‘Volkswagen’ .
Listed measurements: 6-foot-5 ¼, 289 pounds. 2021-22 year, eligibility: An early-enrolled freshman this spring, Rubio has four years of eligibility remaining, a clock that may begin this year despite the four-game eligibility exception. Depth chart: When Notre Dame moved fifth-year Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa to end from tackle, it did so in part because there is an expectation Rubio can contribute from the outset. He will be behind senior Jayson Ademilola and sophomore Rylie Mills, but the Irish prefer to get as much use out of their defensive line depth as they can, as exhibited by Mills’ appearing in nine games last season.