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Four-Star Recruit Mark Zackery IV Commits to Notre Dame

Mark Zackery

Notre Dame received a verbal commitment from four-star cornerback Mark Zackery IV on Saturday. The Fighting Irish have been recruiting Zackery, a member of the 2025 class, for well over a year.

Zackery, one of the most coveted defensive backs in the country, enjoyed a dominant junior season at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis where he was a standout on both sides of the ball. Last year, Zackery took snaps at cornerback and wide receiver. In an early-season game against IMG Academy, Zackery caught six passes for 42 yards and a touchdown on offense. In the same game, he had a pass breakup, a fumble recovery, and a tackle on defense.

The 5-10 1/2, 160-pound cornerback selected Notre Dame over Cincinnati, Michigan, Georgia, and Florida, among many other leading programs.

Mark Zackery: Impact Player

According to 247Sports, Zackery is the No. 59 overall player in the country and the No. 6 cornerback in the class of 2025.

A scouting report from 247Sports National Analyst Allen Trieu, says of Zackery: “Was an early starter at a good high school where he regularly saw good competition. Also, a standout basketball player and his basketball exploits were an additional marker of his athleticism. Plays the ball well in the air and keeps himself in (a) good position to make those plays. Average height but has length and the timing and athleticism to challenge bigger receivers. Fluid in his transition and shows enough make-up speed to close on the ball. Willing tackler but needs to get stronger and bulk up to have continued success there in college. Athleticism, technical prowess, and ball skills all suggest impact player at a major program and could have success as both an outside corner and slot corner.”

Assembling an Elite DB Unit

The commitment from Zackery gives Notre Dame a stout defensive back class for 2025. In addition to Zackery, the Irish have landed commitments from four-star safety Ivan Taylor; four-star defensive back Dallas Golden; four-star cornerback Cree Thomas; and three-star safety Ethan Long.

The strong blue-chip class is a testament to head coach Marcus Freeman and defensive backs coach Mike Mickens. For Zackery and the other defensive backs destined to play for the Irish, there are plenty of success stories for the young prospects to point to beyond the collegiate level. Mickens coached Sauce Gardner at Cincinnati when Mickens coached there. Gardner is a two-time Pro Bowler with the New York Jets. Cam Hart, was a fifth-round NFL draft pick last month by the Los Angeles Chargers. There is also Benjamin Morrison, a former four-star recruit who was a Thorpe Award finalist as a sophomore last season. Morrison is thought to be a consensus first-round NFL draft pick next year.

Zackery; Top-Tier Talent in a Top Recruiting Class

In an interview with Irish Illustrated.com, Zackery, who boasts a 3.92 grade-point average, explained the factors behind his decision to choose Notre Dame.

“A lot of things went into this decision,” Zackery said. “But just Notre Dame being the ultimate decision for me, them having a great football program, a great athletic program, them allowing me to play basketball as well. So, they’ve given me that opportunity. Just the class that we’re bringing in, I feel like we have the capability to win a national championship. And they don’t offer just football. They offer the development as a football player and as a man.

“And then having a great DB coach, a great head coach, and a great defensive coordinator that believe in me and believe I can play great in their defense stood out to me a lot,” he added.  “I just want to be the greatest player I can be. All (of) my work I’ve just put in, I feel like it will show on the field. And then just trusting in God and believing in him and believing in the coaches and what their plan is for me. I know I can be a great player. I feel like I have a high ceiling and I need to reach that potential.”

Fortifying the Defense

The 2025 class of defensive backs promises to continue the tradition of strong and dynamic play in the secondary under Freeman and Mickens. If Mark Zackery is correct, this impressive group of defensive backs might bring more than a wealth of skill and athleticism to the Notre Dame program.

As the newest class of top recruits develop and integrate into the team, the Irish faithful can likely look forward to a formidable defense that just might be a cornerstone of the Irish’s pursuit of a National Championship.

 

Mark Zackery
Photo courtesy: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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