Notre Dame lands four-star outside linebacker Jaiden Ausberry
The Fighting Irish were able to fight off some major powers in the SEC and Big 10 behind a strong recruiting effort from Marcus Freeman going back to before he was made head coach as well as defensive line coach Al Washington.
“Coach Freeman recruited me last year when he was DC, so we have that good relationship,” Ausberry told Rivals at Future 50. “Coach Washington recruited me at Ohio State so I know a lot of people up there. Last year, they were two of the biggest linebacker recruiters so now that they’re together, it’s cool to see.”
In addition to Notre Dame, Ausberry took official visits in the month of June to Auburn, Michigan and Texas A&M. Auburn made a run behind having his brother, Austin, on campus as a true freshman in Bryan Harsin’s program while Michigan and Texas A&M also made legitimate pushes behind strong development sells and recent success.
LSU was also a major contender as his high school resides on the Tigers’ campus in Baton Rouge and Ausberry has multiple ties to the program.
However, Notre Dame’s educational piece paired with the development under Freeman was enough to sell Ausberry on playing in South Bend.
“They have this 40-year plan thing that plans for not just the next four years, but the next 40 years after football,” he said. “With a Notre Dame degree, you can do a lot of things with that.”
At 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, Ausberry is the No. 80 ranked prospect in the country for the class of 2023, according to Rivals. He is the No. 7 ranked recruit from the state of Louisiana and the No. 4 ranked outside linebacker in the country.
While Ausberry’s size leaves a lot to be questioned about what position serves him best at the next level, Notre Dame will be able to truly shape and mold the four-star prospect in what they want him to be.
Ausberry can stay around the same weight that he is now and play inside linebacker or grow and expand into his frame to play outside linebacker. His athleticism will allow him to move around the second level to what’s best for Marcus Freeman’s defense.
While he high potential to be a first-to-second day NFL Draft pick, development will be key for Ausberry in his first two years in South Bend based on what Notre Dame wants from him. His knowledge and IQ on the defensive side of the ball will help accelerate that development, but the physical aspect will obviously be most important.
With about 15-20 more pounds, Ausberry could be a rangy outside linebacker that could either crash the backfield or cover pass-catchers out of the backfield effectively.