In less than a month, Notre Dame’s new defensive coordinator has added a pair of 6-foot-6 defensive end commitments. The getting might not stay this good for Marcus Freeman, but with consensus three-star defensive end Aiden Gobaira (Chantilly High School; Va.) committing Saturday afternoon, the honeymoon period will last at least a bit longer.
After visiting campus last week, though not meeting with any coaches or touring any facilities due to the continuing coronavirus-caused recruiting dead period, Gobaira chose the Irish over expected frontrunner Penn State, both Virginia and Virginia Tech, half the Big Ten, Arizona State representing the West Coast, and Vanderbilt as both an SEC representative and perhaps a Notre Dame recruiting challenger to keep an eye on for the next cycle or two.
“Why not Notre Dame is the question, really,” Gobaira told Blue & Gold Illustrated. “You have a great academic school that’s in the top 20 in the country, you have a football program that was just in the College Football Playoff. It’s just the best of both worlds.”
Gobaira’s length alone makes him an intriguing prospect, the No. 26 weakside defensive end in the class, per rivals.com. He has yet to play a junior season — Virginia may yet squeeze in a condensed schedule this spring — but his sophomore film showed Gobaira is already strong enough to handle a blocker while making a tackle. If he adds a bit more muscle to his 6-foot-6, 230-pound frame, Gobaira will be the physical prototype of a Power Five defensive end.