Quarterback Steve Angeli commits to Notre Dame's 2022 class

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Notre Dame didn't hide its interest in Steve Angeli.

The junior from Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic was one of the first two quarterbacks in the 2022 class to receive an offer from the Irish last August. Angeli took the Irish up on that offer and gave Notre Dame his verbal commitment Thursday night.

“I knew that in my heart Notre Dame was the place I wanted to be and the people and coaches that I wanted to be around,” Angeli said Friday on ND Insider’s “Pod of Gold” podcast.

Angeli kept coming back to the first conversation he had with Notre Dame offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Tommy Rees before he received an Irish scholarship offer. The two spoke for nearly an hour as Rees established a relationship with a potential recruiting target. Now Angeli can work on proving Rees right for identifying him as a top option for the Irish.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Angeli sports a résumé with more projection than production. In a six-game junior season shortened by COVID-19 restrictions, Angeli assumed the role of full-time starting quarterback for the first time in his high school career. He completed 68 of his 115 pass attempts (59.1 percent) for 919 yards and six touchdowns with three interceptions. His 44 carries netted a loss of one yard and three touchdowns.

But the interest from college coaches far outweighed Angeli's statistical output. He compiled offers from Ohio State, LSU, Oregon, Michigan, Penn State and others throughout his recruitment. Several, like Notre Dame’s, offers came through before Angeli took the field for his junior season.

“He’s very accurate and has good arm strength,” said recruiting analyst Tom Lemming. “He can throw the deep ball. He has all the tools to be a real good one. He’s definitely one of the best quarterbacks in the country.

“He’s a student of the game and really works hard to improve his game. This is the type of quarterback who can turn into a Heisman Trophy candidate with good coaching.”

Rivals rates Angeli as a four-star recruit and the No. 13 pro-style quarterback in the 2022 class. 247Sports slates Angeli as a three-star prospect and the No. 17 pro-style quarterback.

Angeli, who plans to enroll early at Notre Dame in January 2022, was one of only four quarterbacks to report Notre Dame offers in the 2022 class. Angeli and four-star quarterback Gavin Wimsatt received the first two offers on the same day last August. Notre Dame offered Ty Simpson, a four-star recruit who recently committed to Alabama, in late January. The Irish also offered Drew Allar a week prior to Angeli’s commitment.

Angeli knew it was time to make a decision even though he has yet to meet his future coaches in person.

“When the dead period got pushed back again and dominoes started to fall obviously, what else was I really waiting for?” Angeli said.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA has operated under a recruiting dead period since last March. The dead period, which prevents college coaches from hosting recruits on campus and hitting the road to visit their schools, was recently extended through at least May 31.

Angeli made his first trip to Notre Dame’s campus in December for a self-guided tour.

“Stepping on campus with my dad and walking around and seeing some of the historic spots, seeing the stadium from the outside, trying to see the (Guglielmino Athletics Complex) and everything that I could, it was awesome to be able to finally get my own bearings of South Bend and the campus and see everything for myself and not having to see Zooms and see pictures and develop my own sight of what Notre Dame is,” Angeli said.

Angeli had quite a few advantages when it came to learning about Notre Dame from afar.

He knew the trio of current Irish players from Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter’s Prep: defensive linemen Jayson and Justin Ademilola and linebacker Shayne Simon. Angeli’s older brother Nick, who went on to play defensive line at Fordham, was teammates with former Irish quarterback Brandon Wimbush at St. Peter’s Prep. Nick Angeli also played youth football with former Notre Dame All-American offensive guard Quenton Nelson.

Steve Angeli heard from Nelson during his recruitment and described Wimbush as a huge help for giving him an inside look at what it’s like to play for Rees and head coach Brian Kelly.

“Everything that coach Rees has done and some stuff that coach Rees maybe wouldn’t brag about himself, Brandon would tell me,” Angeli said. “It was great to get a person that I’ve known for almost all my football life being on the sidelines with him and my brother when he was in high school. He really helped me understand how special of a place Notre Dame was.”

Angeli could help shape a special recruiting class for Notre Dame. The Irish have started strong with a class of eight commitments that ranks No. 6 nationally on 247Sports and No. 7 on Rivals.

“(Angeli) has a great personality,” Lemming said. “When you get a quarterback this early, he can work on other offensive players to get them to Notre Dame.”

Angeli said Friday he’s already built relationships with his fellow Irish commits and is working on connections with recruiting targets like wide receivers Tyler Morris, Carnell Tate, Kaleb Brown and C.J. Williams and running back Gavin Sawchuk.

“It’s important for me to bring the best guys I can with me, especially receivers,” Angeli said.

The outside expectations for Angeli may be tempered by his limited experience and a three-star rating from 247Sports, but Angeli has plenty of time to sway opinions on him. Not that he’s too concerned about that anyways.

“It doesn’t really mean much to me if I’m a no-star recruit or a five-star recruit,” Angeli said. “Whatever people want to label me as, it’s their opinion. The only people’s opinions I really care about are my coaches, my family, my future teammates and my teammates right now.

“I’m not really chasing stars. I’m chasing championships.”

Quarterback Steve Angeli, a 2022 recruit, announced his verbal commitment to Notre Dame on Thursday night.