A major week on the recruiting trail for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish was capped off in impressive fashion today as Gurnee (Ill.) Warren Township wide receiver Micah Jones announced his pledge to the Irish during a ceremony at his high school.
“Notre Dame was a great choice for me because of everything you can get out of the university,” said Jones, the No. 158 player in the country and the top prospect from Illinois. “Whether you are playing football or going on to the business world. Either way you are getting the best of both worlds.
“I knew they were the one since they offered [after Irish Invasion]. I loved the campus and loved the coaching staff. I also felt like I meshed with the players well which was of high importance on my list.”
The 6-foot-5, 196-pound Jones selected the Irish over Northwestern, Illinois, Michigan State, Iowa, Ole Miss and Nebraska. Notre Dame might have been his top choice for some time, but it did not make his choice any easier.
“It was a difficult decision,” Jones said. “I had so many coaches that I respected and loved as not only coaches but as people too. It was hard to tell them that I won’t be able to see them and talk to them every day at football practice in the future.”
Jones originally planned to make his decision in April, but he moved his timeline up to today following his visit last weekend to Notre Dame. It was his third trip to Notre Dame in nine months, as Jones also visited in October when the Irish hosted Stanford.
The decision to move his announcement up made his pick seem rather obvious. Jones being back on campus last weekend reminded him why Notre Dame was always where he wanted to be.
“I love the campus. It’s a beautiful place I can see myself living on,” noted Jones. “It’s a great institution as a whole and even better football, you can’t go wrong. Also, it is very close to home so my parents and friends can come watch me play. That is huge.”
For Jones, the one concern was the offensive coaches and system he first got to know has changed. Notre Dame had to once again sell on him how he would fit on offense. When Jones spent time on campus this past weekend, offensive coordinator Chip Long was able to make it clear how well Jones would fit into his offense.
“I love the offense he is running,” Jones said. “He utilizes his playmakers great. He creates a lot of one-on-one match-ups. It was great to see how he works his offense.”
Jones also took notice of how much football means to the university and its followers during his visits to campus.
“All the fans love Notre Dame football and they breathe Notre Dame football,” stated the Rivals250 wideout. “The football stadium is in the center of campus and everything is centered around football. You’re going to be on NBC every game and it’s going to be a primetime game every time you step on the field. That’s one thing you look for as well in a university.”
Long and the Irish coaching staff were not the only ones trying to persuade Jones to make his decision. Over the last several months Jones was a player that recruits already in the class mentioned as someone they were actively recruiting. Their efforts paid off in the long run.
“I already fit in with them,” Jones said of committed players like quarterback Phil Jurkovec and running back Markese Stepp. “I already feel like brothers with them and together we will build a great 2018 class.”
Jones joined Rivals100 defensive backs Kalon Gervin and Derrik Allen and offensive lineman Cole Mabry as 2018 prospects to commit to the Irish this week. Jones is commitment No. 10 in the class and the sixth Rivals250 prospect to do so.