Notre Dame hosted one of New Jersey State’s best players this weekend when Oradell (NJ) Bergen Catholic stood out as a defensive back Kaj Sander made the trip to South Bend.
Sanders received an offer from Notre Dame less than a month ago, but getting to campus was a top priority. The Fighting Irish staff certainly made an impression.
“The visit was great,” Sanders told Irish Breakdown. “There was so much tradition, the coaches were amazing. The staff took such good care of us. »
The coaches have done an outstanding job of attracting Sanders’ interest since extending the offer. It seems that this early connection continued when they first met in person.
“Coach (Chris) O’Leary showed me former players who played safety at Notre Dame and then showed me where he sees me fitting in, which would be like a hybrid defensive back,” Sanders explained. “He sees me playing a bit of safety, nickel and outside at cornerback, blitzing…doing all the things I love to do.”
With Notre Dame’s string of successes at the security post, notably with the former All-American Kyle Hamilton, there are plenty of examples to show Sanders. Notre Dame has produced a number of NFL safeties in recent seasons, dating back to perennial Pro Bowl safety Harrison Smith and all the way to Hamilton. Now that Notre Dame also has former North West star Brandon Joseph in the fold, that high-profile success is sure to continue.
While Coach O’Leary sold Sanders’ vision on the pitch, it was the head coach Marcus Freeman who filled in the rest of the blanks for Sanders. Coming to Notre-Dame is not just about football. There are a host of positives to consider.
“Coach Freeman talks to me about what it really means to have a Notre Dame degree,” Sanders said. “He talked about life after football and why Notre Dame is important. He also talked about how high he and his staff were on me, which was great to hear.
Sanders is from the same high school as current freshmen Steve Angeli (quarterback) and Jayden Bellamy (defensive back). He had the chance to see his former teammates again during his visit.
“I spoke to (Jayden and Steve) after practice,” Sanders noted. “They both love it and think I would too.”
The dynamic defensive back also already has offers from Penn State, Boston College, Duke, Rutgers and Syracuse, among others. Sanders is currently the No. 195 player nationally according to On3. Sanders is also the No. 4 player in the class in the state of New Jersey, which has historically been a productive state for Notre Dame on the recruiting trail.
Part of a 2021 Bergen State Championship Catholic team, Sanders was able to earn a starting spot at cornerback when he was just a sophomore. He would record 17 total tackles, two interceptions, and break up four more passes for the team. It was part of a staunch Crusaders defense that gave up just 7.8 points per game.
On the attacking side of football, Sanders has also played a small role in attack, which seems to be increasing as a junior. He rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown on just 16 carries.
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Sanders left the visit with plenty to think about. He also plans to visit Penn State on the 21st of this month, but is already planning a return trip to South Bend. New Jersey has been good to Notre Dame in the past and they hope to make Sanders the next example of that.
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Content of the Irish distribution
Notre Dame List 2022
Schedule Notre-Dame 2022
Notre Dame 2023 Class Big Board
Notre Dame 2023 Commits Board – Offense
Notre Dame 2023 Commits Board – Defense
Notre Dame Scholarship Offers 2023
Notre Dame Scholarship Offers 2024
Ranking of signatories 2022 – Attack
Ranking of signatories 2022 – Defense
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