Notre Dame is having big recruiting weekends in the 2022 class, and the Fighting Irish are hosting some of its biggest targets in the 2023 cycle this month as well.
On June 15, Notre Dame will have Phenix City (Ala.) Glenwood class of 2023 cornerback AJ Harris on campus, and Roswell (Ga.) High cornerback Ethan Nation makes his way to South Bend, Ind. June 21.
Harris and Nation train together with Oliver Davis, a defensive backs specialist in the Atlanta area, and attend many camps together too. They’re close friends and originally planned to visit Notre Dame together but scheduling conflicts forced them to change those plans.
Both prospects are well over 30 scholarship offers and have similar schools after them. While they’re not a “package deal,” Harris and Nation have skillsets at cornerback that compliment each other nicely, as Nation is a twitchy cover guy who can play out to the field, and Harris is a bigger, more physical cornerback who can lock down receivers in the boundary.
“Iron truly sharpens iron,” Nation’s father, Eric, said. “They have a mutual respect for each other’s game. If the right situation presents itself, they would be great teammates. Their game compliments each other.”
Notre Dame certainly hopes that it is the right situation to have both four-star prospects in its 2023 class. Both are looking forward to their respective visits to South Bend.
“They can’t wait to see me come up there for a visit,” Nation said. “I talk to the coaches frequently and would watch their Instagram lives to see practices. I’m really excited for the experience to go up there and the relationship I’m building with the coaches.
“I want to see what the campus is like, the dorms and the student life.”
“That’s a top school for me,” added Harris, who ranks as the nation’s No. 28 recruit per Rivals. “I want to get a feel for the coaches, facilities and see what I think about it personally.”
Harris’ father, Daniel, is admittedly a big fan of the Fighting Irish, but he’s not going to push Notre Dame on his son. AJ has taken a strong liking to Notre Dame though.
“I talk to defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman and cornerbacks coach Mike Mickens weekly,” Harris said. “They’re definitely active in my recruiting process. I love the relationship I’m building with them.
“We talk weekly ever since I got the offer, and sometimes it’s three times per week. We make sure I reach out every week and talk to the coaching staff.
“I love their academics; you need that diploma in life. It’s definitely big to get a Notre Dame degree. I like that their coaching staff is very family oriented. Coach Mickens and Coach Freeman grew up together, so it’d be nice knowing that I’d be going somewhere that has a family atmosphere.”
Both prospects are enjoying the recruiting process and are in no rush to make a decision.
“I want to take my visits, keep in contact with all of the coaches, take it day-by-day and just be a kid,” Nation said.
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