Notre Dame got a big boost to its recruiting class on Friday when four-star linebacker Doug Randolph verbally committed to the Irish after de-committing from Stanford earlier in the week.
"I will be announcing my commitment to Notre Dame tomorrow," Randolph told IrishIllustrated.com on Thursday night.
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Randolph committed to Stanford on June 26, 2011, but remained open to other college programs, including Notre Dame. He attended the Irish junior day in late March where he met up with James Onwualu, Alex Anzalone, Hunter Bivin, Corey Robinson, Rashad Kinlaw, Malik Zaire and Mike McGlinchey.
Those connections proved vital for the Irish, even if Randolph didn't know it at the time.
"I know Alex and James for a while and the other guys I met at The Opening seem really cool so I am looking forward to playing with them," Randolph said. "Notre Dame is a great fit for me."
The Irish did their best to swing the 6-foot-3, 237-pounder from Woodberry Forest School in Virginia their way but came up short when Randolph confirmed his commitment in July after camping at Stanford.
Notre Dame's contact with the nation's 12th-ranked outside linebacker virtually stopped after that. It was Randolph who reopened the lines of communication with Irish assistant coach Scott Booker.
"After weeks of thinking of I have been in contact (with Notre Dame) just recently. I initiated it," Randolph said. "He was very excited and even more excited when I told him about how I felt about Notre Dame."
After the visit to Stanford over the summer Randolph felt strongly about his commitment to the school. As time passed, Randolph began to reconsider his college choice.
"I needed to take a whole step back and rethink everything," he said. "I felt a better connection at Notre Dame and felt like it was a better fit for me."
Randolph's former teammate C.J. Prosise is a freshman safety at Notre Dame and current teammate Greer Martini, a junior, committed to the Irish over the summer. Randolph also has bonded with Anzalone, Onwualu and Devin Butler at The Opening this summer.
He also was close with Stanford commitment Peter Kalambayi.
"C.J. is a great friend of mine and really inspired me last year, but I was not pressured by anyone to make the decision I made," Randolph said. "Peter from Stanford is one of my best friends but the ND class as a whole is great. I let (Anzalone), Devin and James know about (the decision)."
Notre Dame expects Randolph to step into its dog linebacker position. He's the fifth linebacker commitment in the class, joining Anzalone, Jaylon Smith, Danny Mattingly and Michael Deeb.
"I think it would be a great fit," Randolph said. "I feel like I am very versatile as a player.
"The decision was completely my own. My family supported me fully and liked my decision. I love the facilities and school and people. Especially my class."