Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football Recruiting: The Latest On ND Safety Commit Justin Walters
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In Justin Walters’ Highly Athletic Family, Academics Comes First

Notre Dame class of 2021 safety pledge Justin Walters has quite the athletic family.

His older brother Brandon is home from Army West Point, where he plays running back. Justin is working out with his brother on a daily basis, doing a lot of cardio, working his core and various body weight exercise.

Walters’ older sister Kayla is a freshman at Miami (Ohio) and runs track. Walters’ younger brother Damon plans to follow in his footsteps and play safety at Bollingbrook (Ill.) High. Last season, Damon played sophomore ball as a freshman and hopes to take the next step to varsity as a sophomore.

“We’re all close,” Walters said of his siblings. “We obviously get annoyed with each other sometimes, but it’s cool. The relationship is just different with us and everyone else notices that, too. We’re just really close and we bond.”

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Bolingbrook (Ill.) High safety and Notre Dame pledge Justin Walters
Walters committed to Notre Dame over offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin and others.

Justin’s parents, Horace and Teryce Walters, raised quite the athletic family. Horace played football in high school and Teryce was a cheerleader.

“The thing is, we preach academics more than sports,” said Walters, who is ranked as the No. 17 safety nationally by Rivals. “If your academics aren’t right, then you're not going to be participating in sports.”

To receive an offer from Notre Dame and commit to the Fighting Irish, Walters had to have his academics “right.” He pledged to Brian Kelly’s program Feb. 2 and has not looked back.

“With this virus, all of the recruiting visits are cancelled. I don’t have to worry about where I want to go on visits,” Walters explained. “I’m just sitting at home, FaceTiming Coach Brian Kelly, knowing where I’m going to go.”

Walters’ initial plan was to take more visits throughout the spring, including official visits, and make a decision prior to the start of his senior year. His commitment to Notre Dame came at a perfect time, as he couldn't take visits this spring anyways.

He was on Notre Dame’s campus the day before he committed, and he knew South Bend was the place for him.

“When I went into that visit, I didn’t want to commit,” Walters admitted. “I wanted to have that experience of going on all of those officials and the hype, but now I can see that committing was the right choice.”

Walters communicates with Irish safeties coach Terry Joseph on a weekly basis. The 6-1, 170-pounder told his future position coach that he doesn’t need to stay in touch with him on a daily basis. Walters doesn’t care about the attention and the daily checking in.

“I know where he stands, and he knows where I stand,” Walters noted.

Walters hears from other schools but says he is locked in with his Notre Dame verbal.

“I’m not really on my phone that much. I try to respond, but it's not a priority for me,” Walters said. "No one has to worry about me even considering a decommitment.”

Walters is one of seven commits in the 2021 class. He has only met a few of them in person, but he is building a good bond with them and hopes to officially visit Notre Dame with his future teammates this June, if the NCAA allows it.

“They welcomed me in right away and we have a pretty good relationship,” Walters said.

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