Josh Atkinson Suprised Himself

Josh Atkinson is busy this week practicing at the Team USA vs. The World football game being held in Austin, Texas. The cornerback from Granada High School (Livermore, Calif.) will also be signing his letter of intent on Wednesday.

Josh Atkinson is excited for signing day to arrive. He's got a postseason all-star game to play in and he also needs to sign and fax his letter of intent into his school.

"I'm ready to sit down and sign my letter of intent on Wednesday," Atkinson said. "I'm just glad to get things done and put all these rumors behind us. I want everyone to know that I'm all Notre Dame and I want to sign that letter of intent. I'm excited."

As excited about as his is about signing with Notre Dame, it is something Josh didn't expect to happen. In fact, a year ago Notre Dame really wasn't on of the schools that he was considering.

"At the beginning of the (recruiting) process I thought that I was going to stay in the Pac 10 and stay close to home," Atkinson explained. "But I took my official visit to Notre Dame and it changed my whole perspective.

" The coaching staff, the academics and the whole program stuck out. When I went up there to talk to one of the professors, he knew more about me than I knew about myself. It was crazy. He was prepared and he taught me a lot about Notre Dame academically and about where a degree could take me.

"That really made me think that I had to take a good look at Notre Dame. After all that and talking to the coaching staff, it just seemed like the perfect place for me. The fans too, they all knew me at the game. It was just a lot of fun. The whole trip was great."

A big reason that Josh made an official visit to Notre Dame was because of his father. While Mr. Atkinson didn't push his son to Notre Dame, he did want Josh to keep an open mind through the recruiting process.

"My dad always tells me that I'll have the rest of my life to figure out what I want to do," he said. "So he wants me to get the best degree that I can and Notre Dame definitely has that. They have a great alumni system and it's ranked as the No. 1 undergraduate business school in the country.

"Then the football part of it just fell into place. I wanted to go somewhere that I had an opportunity to play as a freshman. Everyone knew that Oregon was my No. 1 for a long time, but I looked at their depth chart and they had something like 17 defensive backs in front of me. I wouldn't have had a fighting chance, so I didn't want to get into a situation like that.

"I definitely wanted to get an opportunity to play as a freshman and show what I can do," he said. "That's another reason Notre Dame was a good fit. Next year the cornerback situation will be wide open, and then even more so in 2012.

Josh is one of five Notre Dame commitments that will be participating in the "USA vs. The World" All-Star game that is being played this Wednesday. Top Stories