Recruiting Notebook: A ‘Merry Flipmas’ For Notre Dame

(Photo Courtesy of Notre Dame Athletics)

As we inch closer to the holidays and the first of the year, we get closer to the four month mark since September 1st, which was the first date that college coaches (outside of the service academies who could start contacting 2022 recruits on July 1st) could contact 2022 recruits.

While recruiting remains in a dead period until April 15th, which could make for an exciting summer, the majority of the action in the class of 2022 went down in the first month of the contact period. And while things were quieter in the months of October and November, the action has ramped back up again in the month of December.

Here’s a look at some of the programs that have gotten wins of the recruiting trail over the past few weeks:

Notre Dame

You haven’t see Kevin Corrigan rocking a ‘Merry Flipmas’ shirt like Ole Miss head football coach Lane Kiffin, but he certainly could have followed the lead of the SEC head coach.

The Fighting Irish already had a strong class coming into the month of December with 11 commits in the boat, but after a very strong past few weeks they are sitting in an even better position and now hold the No. 1 class in the nation, per Inside Lacrosse.

During the month of December, Notre Dame has flipped three highly-level prospects out of Taft, Conn., in attackman Jeffery (2021) and goalie Thomas Ricciardelli (2022), midfielder Ben Spinelli (2022), and landed a commitment from Corona Del Mar, Calif., midfielder Logan Ip (2022). All four commitments came within a three week span of each other.

A crafty lefty finisher and shooter, the elder Ricciardelli broke the Taft single-season program record with 63 goals during the 2019 season as a sophomore. He is rated as a four-star and ranked as the No. 34 player in the 2021 class by Inside Lacrosse. He is the eleventh commit in the 2021 class for the Irish and second from Taft, joining his linemate Chris Kavanagh who signed with the Irish on the first day of the signing period in November and who’s older brother, Pat, is a current star attackman for Notre Dame.

The younger Ricciardelli is an absolute brick wall and has generated a ton of buzz through his first two years of high school ball. As a freshman in 2019, he started and posted a 64% save percentage. He is rated as a five-star by Inside Lacrosse. Ricciardelli is the first non-reclassified player to either decommit or flip in the class of 2022.

Ip is a dangerous shooter, especially on the run. As a freshman in 2019, he put up 48 points (33G/15A) for Corona Del Mar. The 5-foot-9, 145-pound midfielder is rated as a four-star by Inside Lacrosse and is the fifth midfielder in the class for the Irish.

At 6-foot-4, 190-pounds, Spinelli is on the tall and lanky side and could certainly add more weight onto his frame, especially once he gets into a college weight program. On film, the junior midfielder shows to be a solid shooter from mid-range, has some speed that aides him in the dodging game, and makes some smart plays off-ball to get himself good looks on cage. At the moment, Spinelli appears to have more upside than anything and it will be fun to see how he develops over the next few seasons of high school ball. He is rated as a four-star by Inside Lacrosse.

You can view a full 2022 commitment list for Notre Dame here.

Dartmouth

While it may seem that much of the Ivy League is bleeding with four players flipping from an Ivy to ACC schools this fall, Brendan Callahan and the Dartmouth Big Green look to be putting another solid recruiting class together with how they are trending with the 2022s.

The Big Green got a huge win in early December, as they were able to take a dive into the South and come away with one of the best specialist in the Peach State, landing the commitment of Blessed Trinity, Ga., faceoff man Wilson Van Buren. He is the second player from the Peach State to verbal to the Big Green over the past three months, following 2021 Centennial, Ga., goalie Mason Morel who announced his decision in late September.

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound faceoff man is rated as a three-star prospect by Inside Lacrosse and is one of the top prospects in his class in the state of Georgia. Not only does have have the quick hand speed needed to win the clamp and gain possession, but he can also do some damage himself as a shooter and a passer once in the offensive zone.

You can view a full 2022 commitment list for Dartmouth here.

Air Force

The Falcons have picked up the pace on the recruiting trail in recent weeks, landing six commitments thus far in December, including a few studs in attackman Mark Cheng and faceoff man Jordan Nason. The Falcons now have 20 commitments in the class of 2022, which is good for the largest class in the nation. That fact isn’t unusual at all for the SoCon program, which traditionally racks up a large number of commitments.

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