Coney ‘100 percent with Irish
Two weeks from today Tevon Coney plans to be moving into his dorm room at Notre Dame.
While that timeframe can feel like an infinity in the recruiting world, the four-star linebacker from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., believes it shouldn’t as he nears enrollment in South Bend for the spring semester. Despite an official visit to Miami earlier this month and contact with Florida’s new defensive coordinator, the Under Armour All-American said he’s sticking with his Notre Dame commitment.
The Hurricanes reached out to Coney on Saturday, with the Gators following up Sunday. Coney had a similar message for both in-state programs as they hunt for talent in the front seven.
“I tell them I’m 100 percent committed to Notre Dame and that’s where I want to go,” Coney said. “I think I’m going to Notre Dame and I think that’s the best fit for me right now and the most stable program for me also. I’m still 100 percent committed to Notre Dame. I think I’m pretty sure I’m still going there, 100 percent sure. My parents are all locked in also. Everything is already booked for me to go.”
Coney plans to be on campus at Notre Dame on Jan. 11, with the semester beginning two days later. With recruiting’s dead period not ending until after Coney arrives in South Bend it means there are not other visits planned, although he said new Florida defensive coordinator Geoff Collins has tried to work on the linebacker.
Collins joined Jim McElwain’s staff at Florida after running the defense at Mississippi State last season. But for Coney it’s less about who’s still in Gainesville and more about who’s gone.
“At first, not gonna lie, I was gonna go to Florida,” Coney said. “I was 100 percent committed to Florida in my mind. When the whole coaching situation happened with coach (Will) Muschamp, me and my family had to reevaluate some things and to think about if I really wanted to get to know a new coach.
“I was already building good relationships with coach (Tony) Alford from Notre Dame and coach (Brian) Kelly and coach (Brian) VanGorder, so my parents felt I should go with them because I was more comfortable with them anyways. I felt that’s where I wanted to be.”
Coney committed to Notre Dame on Oct. 23, about three weeks before Florida made the decision to fire Muschamp at season’s end. Muschamp is now the defensive coordinator at Auburn.
Coney was a late addition to the Under Armour roster, an invite he’d been hunting since summer when he attended the Irish Invasion in South Bend. He returned for his official visit during the Michigan weekend, his last look at campus before enrolling.
The 6-foot, 221-pound athlete hopes his inside linebacker skill set can show during Under Armour practices in full pads, gear he couldn’t wear during the Rivals Camp Series or during his 7-on-7 work at The Opening last summer.
“I just thank God every day for letting me get an invite,” Coney said. “It’s a big blessing for me and I want to make sure I take full advantage of it, make sure I work hard every day. I think this right here lets everyone know where I stand in football. I definitely want to make sure everyone sees what I really have to offer.”