Listed measurements: 6-foot-6, 260 pounds.
2022-23 year, eligibility: An incoming freshman, Wagner has four seasons of eligibility remaining, and five years to use them.
Depth Chart: Projected as a future tackle, Wagner will not crack the two-deep this season, barring a string of injuries. At left tackle, for example, sophomore Joe Alt and junior Tosh Baker are well established as Nos. 1 and 2.
Recruiting: Wagner was the rare unexpected commitment back in November. Nowadays, even when a recruit has a hyped announcement and there is vague uncertainty remaining on his final decision, the two or three schools in the mix know they are in the mix. When Wagner announced he’d head to Notre Dame, it was entirely anticipated he would choose Kentucky, where his brother is a graduate assistant and the Wildcats have developed strong running games for a few years now.
The No. 12 offensive tackle and No. 126 prospect in the class by the time the cycle was concluded, per rivals.com, Wagner also pondered Penn State and Ohio State.
Some credit must be given to Wagner coming from Wayne High School, where both Marcus Freeman and cornerbacks coach Mike Mickens graduated from. They may not coach his position, but they lend some familiarity to Wagner.
WHAT WAS SAID WHEN WAGNER COMMITTED IN NOVEMBER
“adding another long-armed, broad-shouldered, powerful four-star tackle to a class that already includes consensus four-star Ty Chan (Lawrence Academy; Groton, Mass.) is a recruiting win that fits in line with Irish roster construction trends for years now.”
NAME, IMAGE, LIKENESS
Let’s skip the meandering thought process of finding a potential sponsorship deal for a player yet to enroll and instead relish the frivolities of high school sports that we did not get to widely enjoy before social media.
The first week of practice one of the girls said “Hey Coach, when we won conference, can we dump water on you?” I happily said yes!
— Nick Minnich (@N_Minnich) February 11, 2022
Notre Dame ripped through so many left tackles in 2021, it feels foolhardy to now say it will not need Wagner in 2022, but the former shock created the latter certainty. The Irish know they have viable tackles in Alt, Baker, junior Michael Carmody and sophomore Blake Fisher. Furthermore, sixth-year right guard Josh Lugg has a year of starting experience at tackle, and fifth-year center Jarrett Patterson was originally recruited as a tackle.
Time sidelined will serve Wagner well. As strong as he is, he needs to add weight. A 6-foot-6 frame holding 260 pounds is simply not going to hold up at this level of football.
DOWN THE ROAD
But note, Wagner is strong. He just won the Division 1 shot put title in Ohio, heaving the put 64 feet and one inch. That is a 12-pound weight thrown more than 20 yards. Second place threw his shot put 58 feet and 7 ¼ inches.
Even harder to believe, Wagner has been throwing for only two years, quickly picking up a skill that is highly dependent on picture-perfect form.
RELATED READING: Unfinished business drives Irish incoming freshman OT Aamil Wagner
Wagner has power.
With a basketball background, he also has quick feet.
All of which is to say, Wagner will be looked at as a future left tackle for the Irish, a designation that comes with it first-round draft thoughts. Wagner will have to wait until at least 2024 to get his shot at that role, but as long as that possibility exists, he will have plenty to work toward.
In his case, that work will involve plenty of weight training and massive plates of food. Bulking up from 260 to 305 will take some time, years even, to do it right.
WHY NO. 59?
If Wagner indeed plays tackle at the next level, then this number is almost certainly wrong. Just about the only NCAA numbering guideline followed religiously is that tackles have numbers in the 70s. The only numbers in that decade currently available on the Irish roster are Nos. 77 and 71. Chan wore 77 in high school, thus he was penciled in appropriately in this series. Wagner may end up with No. 71, but for now, let’s acknowledge his high school digits one more time, numbers that are unclaimed on Notre Dame’s roster card.
RELATED READING: Four-star Ohio tackle Aamil Wagner commits to ND, perhaps surprisingly
Notre Dame gets the letters: Five offensive linemen complete Irish class of 2022, including quartet of four-stars
NOTRE DAME 99-TO-0
From Blake Grupe to Braden Lenzy, the offseason countdown begins anew
No. 99 Blake Grupe, kicker, Arkansas State transfer
No. 99 Rylie Mills, junior defensive lineman, a tackle now playing more at end
No. 98 Tyson Ford, early-enrolled freshman, a defensive tackle recruited as a four-star end
No. 97 Gabriel Rubio, sophomore defensive tackle, still ‘as wide as a Volkswagen’
No. 92 Aidan Keanaaina, a junior defensive tackle who tore his ACL in March
No. 91 Josh Bryan, sophomore kicker
No. 91 Aiden Gobaira, early-enrolled freshman defensive end, four-star recruit
No. 90 Alexander Ehrensberger, junior defensive end, a German project nearing completion
No. 89 Eli Raridon, incoming freshman tight end with a torn ACL
No. 88 Mitchell Evans, sophomore tight end
No. 87 Michael Mayer, junior tight end, likely All-American
No. 84 Kevin Bauman, junior tight end
No. 83 Jayden Thomas, sophomore receiver, former four-star recruit
No. 80 Cane Berrong, sophomore tight end coming off an ACL injury
No. 79 Tosh Baker, one of four young Irish offensive tackles
No. 78 Pat Coogan, sophomore center, recovering from a meniscus injury
No. 77* Ty Chan, incoming offensive tackle, former four-star recruit
No. 76 Joe Alt, sophomore starting left tackle
No. 75 Josh Lugg, sixth-year offensive lineman, likely starting right guard
No. 74 Billy Schrauth, early-enrolled freshman offensive guard coming off foot surgery
No. 73 Andrew Kristofic, senior offensive tackle-turned-guard
No. 72 Caleb Johnson, sophomore offensive tackle, former Auburn pledge
No. 68 Michael Carmody, junior offensive line utility man
No. 65 Michael Vinson, long snapper, ‘Milk’
No. 65* Chris Smith, defensive tackle, Harvard transfer