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Fighting Irish Land First 2022 Commitment In Phillips Exeter Forward Dom Campbell

Fighting Irish Land First 2022 Commitment In Phillips Exeter Forward Dom Campbell

Notre Dame basketball took what head coach Mike Brey called a “middle stance” when recruiting opened back up in June.

The Irish wanted most of their recruiting targets to visit in the fall for a football game weekend instead of rush to campus in June. They also wanted to see them play during the June and July live evaluation periods, which would also expand the recruiting board with new offers.

“We had some kids on campus, some unofficially and officially,” Brey said Tuesday. “But it wasn’t a blitzkrieg because we wanted to see them. We wanted to watch. Sept. 11 and Sept. 18 will be big, old-fashioned visit on a football weekend. I’ve been trying to tell kids, ‘Can you wait and see the place when we’re back and we want to entertain?’ I think a lot are receptive to that.”

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Phillips Exeter Academy forward Dom Campbell is Notre Dame basketball’s first 2022 commitment. (Dom Campbell/Instagram)

The official visitor on campus in June was Phillips Exeter Academy (N.H.) forward Dominick Campbell. The 6-8, 235-pound Campbell came to South Bend on an official June 28-30. Notre Dame had him high enough on its board to be OK with bringing him on a visit earlier.

Three weeks later, he’s in the Irish’s class.

Campbell announced his commitment Wednesday night, giving Notre Dame the first member of its 2022 class. He chose the Irish from a list of nearly 20 offers. In addition to Notre Dame, he took official visits to Stanford and Oklahoma in June.

A native of Maine, Campbell plays AAU for Massachusetts-based program Middlesex Magic. The team has some familiarity with Notre Dame — former Notre Dame guard/forward Pat Connaughton played for it in the early 2010s. Magic coach Michael Crotty also has a long-standing relationship with Brey.

Rivals does not have a ranking on Campbell, but the expectation is that will change when the Rivals150 updates next in August.

“A big, strong player at 6-foot-9 and 240 pounds, Campbell can line up across the floor, whether it be on the low block with footwork and touch, the mid post with his ability to face and make a play or as a pick and pop or trail big shooting the 3-ball,” Rivals national basketball recruiting analyst Jamie Shaw wrote.

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“He has strong hands that once he gets ahold of the ball, he is not letting go…Campbell has burst on the scene and is someone who will, almost assuredly, be in the next Rivals150.”

Campbell’s stock took off in late May following an AAU tournament in Dallas, where he averaged 17 points and 11 rebounds over three games. He matched up against top-60 forwards in two of those outings.

Even though college coaches couldn’t watch the tournament in person, word got out. In a matter of days, Campbell went from mid-major prospect with offers mostly from Northeast schools to a clear high-major recruit with national offers. Notre Dame jumped in with an overture May 25, one of the first high-major teams to extend one.

Campbell previously told BlueandGold.com following his official visit that the Irish’s early belief in him stood out.

South Carolina, VCU, Penn State, Virginia Tech, Minnesota, Stanford, Providence and Oklahoma offered him in May as well. Tennessee, Davidson, Illinois Boston College entered the race in June.

Brey and Notre Dame’s staff watched Campbell play in person in June for the first time. Campbell said they see him as a similar player to 2014-18 Irish big man Bonzie Colson, an undersized but sturdy center who could score as a post-up big man and make three-pointers.

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Campbell’s commitment kicks off what could be a large 2022 class for Notre Dame. With seven seniors on the 2021-22 roster, Notre Dame could be looking at five or six newcomers between high school and transfer additions.

“It’ll be a bigger class, whether it’s all high school kids or portal guys,” Brey said.

Those seniors have the option to come back for a fifth season, though. The NCAA passed a COVID-19 blanket waiver last fall that granted all 2020-21 winter athletes an extra year of eligibility.

Guard Prentiss Hubb, guard Dane Goodwin and forward Nate Laszewski will play their fourth college seasons in 2021-22 and now have the option to return for a fifth. Guards Cormac Ryan, Trey Wertz and Robby Carmody are academic seniors but were eligible for 2022-23 even before the NCAA granted an extra season. Yale grad transfer forward Paul Atkinson Jr. is out of eligibility following this season.

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Shawn previously worked as a journalist for several local newspapers until he realized the potential of internet for news reporting. He joined the team as a contributor which provided him a platform to dedicate his experience and knowledge for a wider range of audience. He excels in curating business news for the website.

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