The obstacles of the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t prevent Aiden Gobaira from sorting through his recruiting process.
The three-star defensive end didn’t get to play his junior season at Chantilly (Va.) High in the fall due to the season being postponed to February. The 6-foot-6, 235-pound prospect hasn’t been able to make formal recruiting visits for almost a full year due to the NCAA mandating a recruiting dead period in response to the pandemic.
But none of that stopped Gobaira from receiving scholarship offers and settling on a college decision. On Saturday, Gobaira announced his verbal commitment to Notre Dame with a Twitter post.
Gobaira’s decision came shortly after a self-guided tour of Notre Dame’s campus earlier in the week. According to NCAA rules, Notre Dame’s staff couldn’t meet with Gobaira on campus, but he wasn’t prevented from creating his own tour.
Gobaira, who received a Notre Dame offer last May, was impressed enough to commit to the Irish over reported offers from the likes of Penn State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Michigan State and Louisville.
247Sports slates Gobaira as the No. 15 weakside defensive end in the 2022 class. Rivals ranks him No. 26 at the position.
“He has really good length and explosive moves,” said recruiting analyst Tom Lemming. “All he needs to add is weight and strength. He has the athletic ability to be a really good pass rusher. Long arms, quick hands — he has all the tools.”
Gobaira became the second defensive end to commit to the Irish in less than a month. Four-star defensive end Tyson Ford of St. Louis announced his commitment to the Irish on Jan. 18.
With new defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman in place and defensive line coach Mike Elston staying on staff, the Irish have created some recruiting momentum for a Notre Dame class that consisted of only four commitments at the start of the year.
Gobaira and Ford joined offensive linemen Ty Chan and Joey Tanona, linebacker Nolan Ziegler and tight end Jack Nickel in Notre Dame’s 2022 class. Both Rivals and 247Sports rank the Irish class sixth in the country following the addition of Gobaira.