Four-Star Connaughton Makes Decision

One of the nation's top risers in July made his college decision Saturday morning. Patrick Connaughton will play in the Big East.

Patrick Connaughton was one of July's biggest risers. And one of the first schools to lay eyes on the 6-foot-5 wing out of Danvers (Mass.) St. Johns Prep was Notre Dame. The early interest paid off on Saturday.

"When I got all these offers I had no idea where I was going to go," Connaughton said. "I was overwhelmed. I had just got on the scene and I went through the process and I went to Notre Dame last weekend."

"I didn't know last weekend I was going to commit to Notre Dame and I still had no idea where I wanted to go, but it came to me last night when me and my parents were talking about it," he added.

Following July, Connaughton received tons of interest, but ultimately UCLA, Boston College and Vanderbilt were the other schools heavily involved.

"It just fits me," he said of Notre Dame. "It was a better fit. I liked all the kids and I loved the coaching staff. The academics are top notch as well. I think I can get the best of both worlds at Notre Dame and really make an impact right away."

Connaughton, who is also a star baseball player, is also excited about the opportunity to play two sports in college.

"I can also play baseball there too," he said. "I knew the baseball coach prior to him getting the Notre Dame job when he was at B.C. I talked to him and I can do both there and it will really be a good fit."

Connaughton, who grew up Catholic, said his religion didn't play a big role in his decision, but the Fightin' Irish were introduced to him at a young age.

"It was more of the fact where I grew up in a family where Notre Dame was big and always on," Connaughton said. "I always had Notre Dame stuff. Every one always followed Notre Dame. I knew about them at a very young ago."

Connaughton finished the summer as a four-star prospect and ranked No. 75 overall. He's Notre Dame's first verbal commitment in the 2011 class.

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