Get to know the class of 2022 prospects committed to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in this feature from BlueandGold.com.
We have provided background info on each of the commits below (in chronological order from the newest pledge to the oldest), and will continue to update this article each time Notre Dame lands a new commitment.
Commitment Date: Feb. 6, 2021
Chantilly (Va.) High defensive end Aiden Gobaira didn’t receive his first scholarship offer until April 10, 2020 (Virginia Tech), which was several months after the conclusion of his sophomore season. College coaches quickly started to notice Gobaira at that point despite the lack of a spring evaluation period and summer camp circuit. Notre Dame defensive line coach Mike Elston offered Gobaira last May, and the Irish instantly became one of his top contenders.
Penn State picked up steam in Gobaira’s recruitment last September following a self-guided tour visit of State College, but Notre Dame was always near the top of his recruitment. The Irish took the lead in Gobaira’s recruitment in January as Elston and defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman put the full court press on Gobaira. He took a self-guided tour of Notre Dame in early February and a couple of days later made his commitment.
Commitment Date: Jan. 18, 2021
Notre Dame offered St. Louis John Burroughs defensive end Tyson Ford back in April of 2020, and the Irish led most of the way of the recruitment. However, Oklahoma entered the recruitment and the Sooners pulled ahead of Notre Dame by the time the calendar flipped to 2021. Ford decided on Oklahoma but had a change of heart just three days before his Jan. 18 decision day and chose the Fighting Irish.
Ford also held offers from the likes of Arizona State, Baylor, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M and Washington. Rivals ranks Ford as the nation’s No. 64 overall prospect, No. 5 strong side defensive end and No. 3 player in Missouri. Ford was named to the 2020 Missouri Football Coaches Association first-team all-state defense and was also named to the 2020 and 2019 Metro League football all-conference first-team defense. Ford is committed to playing in the Under Armour All-American Game in January of 2022.
Commitment Date: Dec. 10, 2020
Groton (Mass.) Lawrence Academy offensive tackle Ty Chan added Notre Dame to his offer list in August of 2020, and it became quickly apparent that the Irish were going to be tough to beat. Boston College and Penn State gave the Irish a run for its money; he visited both programs and hasn’t been to South Bend yet. However, Chan pulled the trigger on a Notre Dame commitment in Dec. 10, 2020.
Chan also held offers from Boston College, Duke, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Penn State, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Virginia and William & Mary. Rivals ranks Chan as the No. 2 player in Massachusetts, and the nation’s No. 27 offensive tackle and No. 189 overall prospect in the 2022 class. Chan has been invited to the 2022 All-American Bowl.
Commitment Date: Aug. 22, 2020
Grand Rapids (Mich.) Central Catholic linebacker Nolan Ziegler committed to Notre Dame just a couple weeks after earning an offer from the Fighting Irish. The 6-4, 205-pounder announced his pledge to Notre Dame Aug. 22, 2020 over the likes of Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska and Virginia Tech. Rivals ranks Ziegler as the nation’s No. 30 “athlete” and No. 10 player in the state of Michigan. He helped lead Central Catholic to back to-back Michigan state championships the past two seasons.
On his father’s size of the family, Ziegler’s great uncle, Fred Trosko Jr, was a backup quarterback for Notre Dame, and on his mother’s side, Tim Sullivan played linebacker for the Irish. Trosko and Sullivan played together at Notre Dame as well.
Commitment Date: July 27, 2020
Milton (Ga.) High’s Jack Nickel will look to continue the tradition of “Tight End U.” in South Bend. He picked the Fighting Irish over the likes of Florida State, LSU, Miami, Oregon, Penn State, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin. When Notre Dame entered Nickel’s recruitment in May of 2020 with a scholarship offer, the Irish shot to the top of his list, and he informed the staff of his pledge two months later.
Nickel was named to the 2020 Georgia All-State 7A first-team offense and helped lead Milton to a state championship as a freshman in 2018. He was named to the MaxPreps 2018 Freshman All-American Team for his efforts that year. Rivals ranks Nickel as the nation’s No. 25 tight end and No. 51 player in Georgia. Nickel’s father, Paul, played tight end for Stanford in the early 90’s.
Commitment Date: July 25, 2020
Notre Dame’s first pledge of the 2022 class came from Zionsville (Ind.) High offensive lineman Joey Tanona on July 25, 2020. The All-American Bowl commit visited for Notre Dame’s junior day weekend Feb. 1, 2020, which was the last recruiting event the Irish held before the pandemic wiped out visits for the next year. Tanona grew up a big Notre Dame fan, making the decision pretty easy for him.
He also held offers from Arizona State, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas State, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee and others. Tanona was named to the 2020 Indiana MaxPreps All-State first-team offense. Rivals ranks Tanona as the nation’s No. 179 overall recruit, No. 4 offensive guard and No. 5 player in the Hoosier State.