football

Early Relationships Have 2018 Commits On The Same Page

Notre Dame is off to an unprecedented start in the 2018 recruiting cycle.

If you missed it, BGI’s Lou Somogyi took a look at the historic significance of that start earlier this week.

Markese Stepp, a four-star running back commit said that having so many big-time players in the class this early in the cycle could help the Irish land even more big fish.

“I think it’s great because it opens the eyes of other recruits to look at Notre Dame,” Stepp said. “It shows them that we’re building something special.”

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Specifically, Stepp said adding four-star cornerbacks Kalon Gervin and Derrik Allen was huge, mostly due to the regions they came from.

“When Michigan State and Michigan are recruiting him heavy, and Notre Dame is able to go in to Michigan and take him, that’s pretty impressive,” Stepp said. “He goes to a school where a lot of the kids go to Michigan.

“Then you’ve got a kid like Derrik Allen that goes to school in Georgia and has offers across the country, but he chooses Notre Dame,” Stepp continued. “I think that’s pretty special.”

Each time a new player commits, they’re immediately added to the class group text where the players talk every day.

Steps said building those relationships early has been vital.

“Our relationship is very close with everyone,” Stepp said. “I can hit up Phil [Jurkovec] or anyone any time. It’s pretty cool. I think it’s great that we have those early relationships, so when we get to Notre Dame, we’re all on the same page.”

Building those relationships is the main point of the group chats, but that is not all it’s for.

Stepp is a well-known recruiter for the Irish, and said he and the rest of the commits talk about their potential targets every day.

“We tell Kalon and Derrik to hit up the best DBs, because unless you play DB you don’t really understand it,” Stepp said. “Everybody else recruits every other position.”

And they aren’t just going after anybody.

Stepp mentioned several big-time players he and the rest of the commits hit up frequently, including four-stars Houston Griffith, Dallas Gant, Braden Lenzy and five-star Micah Parsons.

Stepp said he is also in a group chat with several of the top players across the country in 2018, and makes sure to fill it up with messages about Notre Dame.

“They kind of get tired of me talking about Notre Dame,” Stepp said with a laugh. “I’ll send a picture and be like, ‘Who’s going to be next?’”

There’s no doubt that Stepp is an ambassador for Notre Dame, but he said that even his best recruiting efforts can’t outweigh the simple feeling of just being on campus in South Bend.

“When guys get on campus, they’re seeing something special,” Stepp said. “The new coaching staff is incredible. They’re great.”

Having seen that for himself more than a few times, Stepp already has one main goal for his time at Notre Dame.

“I think we can win a national championship,” he said.


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