Shumate "Fell in Love" With ND During Visit

Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) four-star safety Elijah Shumate eagerly anticipated his trip to Notre Dame, and it took place over the weekend. So, what happened? And where do the Irish stand? IrishEyes.com has the answers.

Four-star safety Elijah Shumate tripped to Notre Dame to get a better understanding of the school, and left with a lasting image of one of the most storied athletic programs in the nation.

It is also the final face-to-face contract the Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) standout will have with a coaching staff for three weeks because of the dead period, and it made an impression.

"I really enjoyed the university, seeing the school and the things we did," said Shumate's father, Maurice Williams. "Elijah fell in love with it. He really enjoyed being out there."

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Shumate was hosted by Theo Riddick and former New Jersey gridiron standout Bennett Jackson.

"He enjoyed the camaraderie with the players," Williams said. "They showed him mad love. They knew who he was. He knew Theo Riddick. They had a friendship over Facebook and they were aware of each other. He was his host, and Bennett Jackson from Raritan, he also hosted him."

One of the things Shumate and teammate Yuri Wright, who also visited, enjoyed about the visit was how quickly he felt comfortable around the players.

"It was the overall acceptance they received when they got there," Williams said. "We enjoyed sitting around and talking with the coaches. They did a lot of film study with the team. They watched a lot of film. They sat in all the meetings the team was having. It really had them involved as far as what was going on with football."

Shumate could grow into the linebacker, but he is being recruited as a safety.

Another thing Shumate and his father enjoyed were the discussions with the coaching staff.

"The staff was wonderful," Williams said. "Brian Kelly is a cool guy. He's cheerful. He had us laughing, joking. It was fun. It wasn't (really) serious.

"Of course, when it came down to practicing and getting done what they needed to get done for the ball game, it was serious. Outside of that, we enjoyed each other and were talking and laughing. He's a very nice guy."

Shumate already made visits to South Carolina and Rutgers, and he is still planning trips to Georgia Tech and Michigan State, but those have not been scheduled yet. He will now take some time off from recruiting for the holidays before heading to San Antonio for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.


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