Irish in lead pack for elite DB

The No. 1 safety in California, C.J. Pollard, expanded his list of favorites to include Notre Dame after picking up an Irish offer on Wednesday.

Defensive back C.J. Pollard was caught off guard when he learned Notre Dame was interested.

“It surprised me a lot,” Pollard said. “I saw that coach (Mike) Denbrock was stopping by and we had our first greeting, though I couldn’t really talk to him. He said he was going to come back that afternoon and watch me practice.”

The Gardena (Calif.) Serra four-star product was running with a top five of Arizona State, Michigan, Oregon, USC and Utah before the Irish came calling. Now, that top five has shifted to a top six that includes Notre Dame.

“It’s a very prestigious school,” Pollard said. “It’s great academically. I know they have a long history of tradition on the football field and they put a lot of players in the NFL. They also need players in the secondary, so they’re pretty high on my list at this point.”

Pollard plans to commit at The Opening in July, but his recruitment probably won’t end there.

“As of right now, that’s my plan,” Pollard said. “I will be committed but not signed. I’ll still take my official visits in the fall.”

Notre Dame offered the 6-foot-2, 190-pound athlete as a cornerback/safety combo player, something important to Pollard as he considers the schools on his list.

“I am looking for a school with a good education and a team that gives me the opportunity to compete at cornerback and safety,” Pollard said. “I don’t want to play only safety because I think I’ll be a better cornerback in college. I want a good degree to fall back on and I want to compete early.”

Prior to his July decision date, Pollard plans to visit California and potentially Oregon.

Pollard is a four-star prospect and is ranked as the No. 1 safety in California and No. 9 safety overall in the Class of 2016.


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