Notre Dame 99-to-0: No. 58 Ashton Craig, incoming freshman center

Ashton Craig
rivals.com

Listed measurements: 6-foot-4, 274 pounds.
2022-23 year, eligibility: An incoming freshman, Craig has four seasons of eligibility remaining and five years to use them.
Depth Chart: The fluid depth chart spreadsheet used by this space has Craig listed as the fifth center on Notre Dame’s roster, though there are only three other centers on the roster, at most. The Irish would move someone else to the fulcrum before turning to the incoming freshman in competitive game action.
Recruiting: Craig shined at a camp on campus, doubly notable as it immediately followed the 15-month dead period in recruiting induced by the pandemic. That showing earned the consensus three-star offensive lineman a scholarship offer, and he took Notre Dame up on that offer within two weeks rather than head to Nebraska, Michigan, Vanderbilt or Cincinnati.

WHAT WAS SAID WHEN CRAIG COMMITTED A YEAR AGO
“Craig’s strongest trait is some natural quickness, amplified by footwork fine-tuned in basketball performances, ones so worthwhile they are included on his highlights page. He will most likely take that quickness inside at Notre Dame, widely expected to play center. At 6-foot-5, he will provide the size inside that the Irish have gotten used to the last two seasons with 6-foot-4 ½ Jarrett Patterson starting at the pivot, now succeeded by 6-foot-3 Zeke Correll.”

NAME, IMAGE, LIKENESS
Some things may be beyond monetization, like the sheer dominance displayed by Craig’s comparative size in this photo.

2022 OUTLOOK
Enjoy the food, enjoy the gameday atmosphere (at home games only), get used to college life, and lift a lot of weights.

That’s all that is ahead of Craig this season. A high school right tackle — and defensive end — he has plenty to learn as he moves into the interior, so there is no version of this season where Notre Dame turns to him already. Craig not only has to put on weight, but he also has to learn his new position.

DOWN THE ROAD
Craig will have time to learn this new gig. Correll has three seasons of eligibility remaining, and while he may not play at the collegiate level into 2024, at least two more years of him in the center conversation at Notre Dame seem quite likely.

Post-Correll, Craig will need to compete with current sophomore Pat Coogan, more a natural center, particularly in size.

If that is the primary competition, though, then Craig will very much be in the mix. For an incoming freshman making a position switch, a pathway to playing time that clear is rare.

WHY NO. 57?
Editor’s Note: The original version of this story was published before Notre Dame announced Craig would wear No. 58 this season. That version guessed at his jersey number.
Craig wore No. 54 in high school, but the Irish already have a pair of 54s in sophomore right tackle Blake Fisher and senior defensive tackle Jacob Lacey. Craig could wear No. 53, perhaps, but in some intangible way, No. 57 better fits an offensive lineman.

RELATED READING: Third offensive lineman joins Notre Dame’s class of 2022
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
No. 59* Aamil Wagner, consensus four-star incoming freshman offensive tackle
No. 57 Jayson Ademilola, fifth-year defensive tackle, coming off shoulder surgery

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