Notre Dame Gets Commitment From Four-Star Guard Blake Wesley
Notre Dame set out to land the pair of top-150 prospects in its backyard as the backbone of its 2021 recruiting class.
One of them popped early, a month after receiving an offer.
And now, after a lengthy recruitment in which Notre Dame leaned on its advantage of proximity and outlasted much of its competition, the second is an Irish pledge too.
Four-star South Bend (Ind.) Riley guard Blake Wesley committed to Notre Dame Friday morning at a ceremony at his school, becoming the second player in the Irish’s 2021 haul. He joins three-star wing JR Konieczny, his friend since grade school who plays at South Bend’s Saint Joseph High and signed earlier this month.
Wesley also signed with the Irish before making his decision public, the University announced minutes afterwards.
Wesley is Rivals’ No. 22 shooting guard and No. 96 overall player in the country. The 6-5, 180-pound guard is the highest-ranked player to choose Notre Dame since the 2018 recruiting cycle.
Notre Dame offered him in July 2019, the same time it extended one to Konieczny, after Mike Brey and the Notre Dame coaching staff watched him play at the NCAA College Basketball Academy in Champaign, Ill.
Early on, the primary competition appeared to be in-state teams Indiana and Purdue, which offered Wesley the same week as Notre Dame. He took official visits to both, as well as Notre Dame, last fall. From there, his recruitment became more national. Offers from Texas, Ohio State, Louisville and Maryland came during and shortly after his junior season.
Like all 2021 recruits, the ability to take more visits went away with the NCAA instituting a dead period when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Wesley’s last visit was in late February to Louisville, which offered him then and left a strong impression.
The dead period’s continued extension meant Wesley never got to visit Maryland, Texas or any of his most recent offers, which were Missouri, Kansas State, Creighton and Grand Canyon.
In October, Wesley put out a final six that included Notre Dame, Purdue, Maryland, Creighton, Xavier and Kansas State. His Indiana and Louisville recruitments had ended. By decision day, his recruitment with Purdue and Xavier had stopped.
Wesley initially wanted to wait to commit so he could take visits, but with the dead period running through at least April 15, 2021, the practicality of doing so went away. Not long after the mid-November news of its latest extension, Wesley moved up his commitment date.
Wesley will join a Notre Dame backcourt that will contain seniors Prentiss Hubb, Dane Goodwin, Cormac Ryan, Robby Carmody and Trey Wertz in 2021-22, though each can come back if he chooses after the NCAA granted every basketball player an extra year of eligibility. That means Ryan, Carmody and Wertz could stick around through 2023-24, since they had eligibility for 2022-23 anyway due to redshirt years.
Notre Dame has two spots available for 2021-22 after adding Wesley.
As a junior, Wesley was an Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Supreme 15 underclass all-state selection. He played AAU this summer for Indy Heat.
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