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Newsstand: Former Notre Dame commit Elijah Paige chooses rival school

Mike Singer10/04/22
Article written by:On3 imageMike Singer

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Elijah Paige 9 copy 1
Elijah Paige (Chad Simmons/On3)

On Sept. 22, Phoenix Pinnacle’s Elijah Paige, the No. 23 offensive tackle and No. 352 overall recruit per the 2023 On3 Consensus, announced his decommitment from Notre Dame. The four-star recruit picked the Irish back in June but backed off that pledge three months later.

It didn’t take him long to find his new home. The 6-6½, 307-pounder officially visited USC this past weekend and committed to the Irish’s rival on Monday.

There wasn’t anything specific that made Paige change his mind about Notre Dame. The more he thought about what USC offered, his thoughts began to change. A little more than 10 days ago, he publicly decommitted from the Fighting Irish. USC was where he wanted to be, but he and his family wanted to take an official visit this weekend to make sure he was fully sure of his decision.

“It was definitely important,” he said. “I knew when I decommitted that I was going to USC, but taking that visit just assured it. They made it 100 percent and made my parents feel better about it.”

Notre Dame still has four offensive line commits in its 2023 class. Rock Island (Ill.) Alleman’s Charles Jagusah, Topeka (Kan.) Hayden’s Joe Otting, Pfafftown (N.C.) Reagan’s Sam Pendleton and Belmont (N.C.) South Point’s Sullivan Absher is the group position coach Harry Hiestand has committed.

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“In their opinion, that was a targeting penalty and they denied our appeal. He will be out for the first half … I’ll save my opinion. We felt like we had a strong appeal.”

— Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman on his appeal to the ACC of linebacker JD Bertrand’s targeting penalty vs. North Carolina

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