Notre Dame waited until signing day to secure a solid commitment from a running back in its class of 2021, so to land a consensus four-star Texas running back’s pledge on Sunday evening marks a strong start to the class of 2022.
Jadarian Price (Denison High School; Texas), the No. 6 running back in the class and No. 210 prospect in the country per rivals.com, chose the Irish over Texas, Ohio State and Stanford just three weeks after Notre Dame offered him a scholarship.
“There’s one thing that really stands out and it’s just the mindset that they’re going to the College Football Playoffs every year,” Price told Irish Illustrated. “That’s just what they’re all about. That’s their motto. That’s their DNA. They’re going to the Playoffs every year.”
The seventh commit in Notre Dame’s class of 2022, Price joins three-star tight end Jack Nickel as the only two offensive skill position players. With the evolving roster calculus created by the pandemic universal eligibility waiver, the class may be smaller than usual.
In that respect, there is a good chance Price could be the only running back in the class, coming in a year after the Irish signed a pair of backs in consensus three-star Logan Diggs and consensus four-star Audric Estime, especially with five-star Chris Tyree still on the roster when Price arrives. For that matter, Kyren Williams could still be leading the way, but there is no guarantee another sensational season would not send him toward the NFL, and C’Bo Flemister could conceivably still be providing depth and workmanlike carries.
To that stable, Price would add an ability to accelerate out of a cut, evasive hips and a propensity to simply run away from a defender. He uses good balance to keep his feet constantly moving in traffic until he has enough space to open up a decent stride.
It should go without saying that there are 10 months until the early signing period. In that time period, perhaps Price will enjoy the luxury of a visit to South Bend — though last week the NCAA extended the pandemic dead period to May 31. He could also waver in his commitment as Diggs did toward the end of his long-held and eventually-fulfilled pledge. Not that Price is thinking that way.
“I just felt like it was the right thing to do. I trust in myself and this decision, even though it was early and it was my most recent offer,” he said. “I just trusted it. I just felt like Notre Dame was the place for me.”
— Jadarian (@Jadarian15) February 21, 2021