Notre Dame loses commitment from 2022 defensive end Darren Agu
The good news for Notre Dame’s defensive recruiting efforts was bound to end eventually.
It did exactly that Sunday evening when three-star defensive end Darren Agu announced he was backing out of his verbal commitment to the Irish.
Agu, a rising senior at Georgia’s Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School, originally committed to Notre Dame on April 9 just a week after receiving an Irish offer. The 6-foot-6, 235-pound prospect chose Notre Dame from an expanding offer list that included Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Miami and Penn State.
When Agu committed to the Irish, he became the third defensive end to join their 2022 class alongside four-star recruits Tyson Ford and Aiden Gobaira. Notre Dame defensive line coach Mike Elston continued to pursue more recruits along the defensive front. Four-star defensive linemen Cyrus Moss and Anthony Lucas, who are both ranked among the top 30 overall recruits in the 2022 class by 247Sports, made official visits to Notre Dame in June.
Then the Irish added verbal commitments in late June from a pair of four-star defensive end recruits in the 2023 class: Keon Keeley and Brenan Vernon. Six of the last seven commitments to Notre Dame in the 2022 and 2023 classes have been defensive players and occurred since the start of June.
Agu, an Ireland native, recently returned home to London for summer break. College coaches in the United States have been intrigued by Agu’s athleticism. In addition to playing defensive end, he also played tight end for Rabun Gap-Nacoochee and ran sprints on the track team this spring. He reportedly ran a 40-yard dash in 4.62 seconds.
247Sports slates Agu as the No. 20 edge recruit in the 2022 class. Rivals ranks him as the No. 28 athlete, a designation for prospects who could play multiple positions.
Moss, a defensive end at Las Vegas Bishop Gorman, and Lucas, a tackle/end hybrid at Scottsdale (Ariz.) Chaparral, remain top targets for Elston. But a new defensive line target surfaced Saturday when four-star defensive tackle Hero Kanu reported a Notre Dame offer.
Kanu, a 6-5, 293-pound prospect at Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Catholic, is originally from Germany and tweeted a photo of Notre Dame defensive end Alexander Ehrensberger, also a German, with his ND offer announcement.
Rivals ranks Kanu as the No. 8 defensive tackle and No. 80 overall in the 2022 class. 247Sports slates him as the No. 13 interior defensive lineman and No. 99 overall.
Three-star defensive tackle Donovan Hinish is also committed to Notre Dame’s 2022 class.
The good news for the Irish defense could resume Monday when four-star linebacker Jaylen Sneed is scheduled to announce his commitment decision. The 6-2, 215-pound product of Hilton Head Island, S.C., made an official visit to Notre Dame in June.
Rivals ranks Sneed as the No. 5 outside linebacker and No. 46 overall in the 2022 class. 247Sports slates him as the No. 10 linebacker and No. 97 overall.
The loss of Agu dropped Notre Dame in the national team rankings for the 2022 class. The Irish class of 17 commitments is ranked third by 247Sports behind Ohio State (17 commits) and Penn State (18) and fourth by Rivals behind Ohio State, Penn State and LSU (14).
Follow ND Insider Tyler James on Twitter: @TJamesNDI.