Notre Dame LB commit Nolan Ziegler climbing the recruiting rankings

Carter Karels
South Bend Tribune

Nolan Ziegler continues to ascend in the national recruiting rankings.

Rivals bumped the Notre Dame linebacker commit to four-star status in its updated rankings of the 2022 recruiting class this week. Ziegler received a boost to four-star distinction on 247Sports in October.

247Sports updated its 2022 rankings on Wednesday, and now has Ziegler as the No. 17 safety and No. 265 overall player in this cycle. Rivals will unveil its new defensive positional rankings on Thursday. The Grand Rapids (Mich.) Central Catholic product currently comes in as its No. 30 multi-position athlete.

When Ziegler received a scholarship offer from the Irish in August, he did not hold a position ranking on Rivals and came in as 247Sports’ No. 21 safety. 247Sports pegged him as its No. 365 overall player when he verbally pledged to Notre Dame on Aug. 22.

“When he was a sophomore, we were a little bit unsure of how his body was going to grow and exactly what he was going to be,” 247Sports Midwest recruiting analyst Allen Trieu told the Tribune last month. “He was on the radar as a safety but played in the box a lot. He was about 175 pounds at the time. Then he starts showing up at camps and events, and he’s weighing closer to 200 pounds and still running well at that size.

“So for us it was just a matter of seeing now that he’s really looking the part, how does he translate onto the field?”

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Ziegler helped Central Catholic capture a Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 5 championship in January. Across 12 games as a junior last season, Ziegler totaled 115 tackles, six forced fumbles and an interception.

“He’s always been really physical,” Trieu said, “but you combine that physicality and that enjoyment of hitting with a kid who was 25 pounds heavier and a lot stronger, we got a better glimpse of what he’s going to be like in college, which is a hybrid guy who can play in the box and definitely help in the run game but still very much athletic enough to cover when he needs to.”

Four of the seven 2022 recruits committed to the Irish appeared in the updated Top247 and Rivals250 rankings this week: Groton (Mass.) Lawrence Academy offensive lineman Ty Chan, Denison (Texas) High running back Jadarian Price, Zionsville (Ind.) High offensive lineman Joey Tanona and St. Louis John Burroughs School defensive end Tyson Ford.

All four of them dropped in the both overall rankings.

Chan plunged 20 spots on Rivals (209) and eight on 247Sports (237). Tanona descended 22 spots on Rivals (201) and nine on 247Sports (188). Price dropped 20 spots on Rivals (230) and eight on 247Sports (233). Rivals (70) and 247Sports (187) both lowered Ford six spots.

Notre Dame’s two other verbal pledges, Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton tight end Jack Nickel and Chantilly (Va.) High defensive end Aiden Gobaira, remained as three-star recruits on both 247Sports and Rivals.

247Sports ranks Nickel as its No. 27 tight end and No. 561 overall player, while Rivals pegs him No. 34 at the position. Gobaira being the No. 26 weakside defensive end on Rivals could change on Thursday. He comes in as 247Sports’ No. 16 weakside defensive end and No. 331 overall player.

Grand Rapids (Mich.) Central Catholic's Nolan Ziegler (24), a linebacker verbally committed to Notre Dame's 2022 class, is now a four-star recruit on both 247Sports and Rivals.