Kalon Gervin had nearly 40 offers.
Notre Dame was the most recent. In a day and age where kids perceive the first offer as the school that wants them the most, Gervin found the right fit in his latest offer. He visited for a junior day and promptly committed to the Irish.
It has been 27 years now since Notre Dame went into the now-closed Mackenzie High School in Detroit and signed a bruising back named Jerome Bettis. Since then, the Irish have had some success in recruiting Detroit and Michigan. Notably, they recently signed Daelin Hayes, Khalid Kareem and Adetokunbo Ogundeji. They have two from Michigan committed in the 2018 class now with Ovie Oghoufo and Gervin. While those players have ties to Detroit and have roots in Detroit, none of them were PSL (Detroit Public School League) kids until Gervin.
In past years, the Irish have battled for city kids, namely Donnie Corley, who they had on campus several times. They recruited Donovan Peoples-Jones, Jaylen Kelly-Powell and Ambry Thomas in the 2016 class. Even going back to 2012, they recruited Royce Jenkins-Stone and Terry Richardson from Cass Tech who both went to Michigan in the end.
The question was often asked by Notre Dame fans and media if the Irish were spinning their wheels in Detroit by going after players there with Michigan and Michigan State offers. Ohio State has put a greater emphasis on Detroit in recent years as well.
Now comes Gervin, a prospect who had offers from both the Wolverines and Spartans.
Will this mean the Irish will be pulling in more PSL talent in future years? That remains to be seen, but there is no doubt they will be a player for them and Gervin will be there to help recruit those kids.
As for his game, Gervin can be a difficult prospect for us to rate. We are on the conservative side on his ranking right now and that is through no fault of his own.
He was largely avoided last season. Cass Tech opponents did not really test their secondary much with Gervin, Kelly-Powell, Donovan Johnson (Penn State) and Willie Reid (Central Michigan) back there, so Gervin did not see the ball come his way much. He has done well at camps we have seen him at, he has tested well in those places. He was hand-timed at 4.38 at a Michigan State camp. He was electronically timed at 4.61 at a NIKE Opening Regional. That was one of the faster times at that event where the times were generally a little slower. In short, while the reliability of high school 40 times can be questioned, there is no questioning Gervin's speed.
He gets a lot of praise from his coaches and trainers for his technique and attention to detail. He has good size to go along with his speed.
He will attend the NIKE Opening Regionals again as well as the Under Armour All-American camp, both will give us better chance to see him go against the best in his class and possibly move him up in the rankings.