Ethan Rae (Blair Angulo)

New tight end offer has ND connections

Brian Polian hit California last week and offered a pair of 2019 tight ends, including Servite’s Ethan Rae. The talented sophomore likes what he sees in Notre Dame.

Running multiple tight end sets means making multiple tight end offers for Notre Dame.

That's why the Irish offered their fourth and fifth sophomore tight ends last week during the final days of the spring evaluation period as West Coast recruiter and special teams coordinator Brian Polian wrapped up a run through California.

That push for more tight end talent put Polian at Servite High School in Anaheim, where he offered 6-foot-5, 240-pound Ethan Rae.

Former Irish tight end, Troy Niklas, now with the Arizona Cardinals, as well as current wide receiver, Equanimeous St. Brown, both graduated from Servite.

"I was really excited to get the offer, especially the way they produce their tight ends and use them," Rae said. "Also, with coach Chip Long being the offensive coordinator and the tight end coach, that's a pretty big deal because I know they'll get us involved in the offense."

Polian has already left a strong impression.

"He seemed like a really great guy, a lot of energy," Rae said. "Just a fun guy to be around too."

With offers from Georgia, Oregon, Notre Dame, Tennessee, and Texas A&M all popping up in the last month, Rae has seen his stock rise significantly. Arizona State, Colorado, Fresno State, Oregon State, and UCLA round out the impressive offer list.

It appears the Irish will be secure moving forward on Rae's leaderboard.

"I could definitely see them in my top eight or something like that for sure," Rae said. "Definitely, the education is the top thing for me. And with the coaches, obviously, having a good relationship with them. Then, knowing about the coaches too, because they always ask about the player's life but the coaches never tell you about theirs. So, I want to look for that as well."

The next step in his Notre Dame recruitment will be a visit to South Bend. With all of the recent attention, Rae and his family have only begun working out summer plans.

"I don't really know yet," Rae said. "I just sat down with my family and started scheduling a few trips out of state. I don't know, I want to try and get out there this summer, but with summer practices and stuff, I'm not sure. I definitely want to get out there in the future."

Rae grew up competing in several sports. Football has only recently taken the lead in his priorities.

"My first year of football was seventh-grade and then I didn't play my eight-grade year because I weighed too much for Pop Warner," Rae said. "I was really into basketball and baseball, mainly. Those were my two. I did track for the first time this year. I did it to get faster."

Former Notre Dame tight end Oscar McBride was the offensive coordinator at Servite in recent years. He will take the next season off while working on his doctorate.

As a result, a new offense is being installed which will alter Rae's presence in the Servite system.

"Now we have a new offensive coordinator, so it's all spread offense," Rae said. "So, I'll be in the slot this year. I don't think there's any (sets) where I'm a down tight end. But I am playing (defensive) end, too. I'll definitely like that."

A connection to UCLA played a prominent role in his future collegiate plans. Due to his rise up the ranks, this is beginning to change.

"(My dad) played at UCLA," Rae said. "Him being UCLA alumn, it definitely played a factor in the beginning but not so much anymore with all these big-time offers like USC and Notre Dame. So not really, anymore. I'm open to everything. There's been schools coming by everyday, coming by our school to watch practice."

The recent attention has humbled the rising Cali star.

"I feel really blessed and lucky to have my abilities," Rae said. "It's just a blessing." Top Stories