The three-star wide receiver from Jacksonville, Fla., made the trek to campus this week for Irish Invasion. He’ll return home an Irish verbal commitment after giving head coach Brian Kelly and staff a pledge on Friday night during the event.
“I’m officially committed to the University of Notre Dame,” Stepherson tweeted immediately following the 10 p.m. conclusion of Notre Dame’s premier summer camp.
Stepherson chose Notre Dame over scholarship offers from Colorado, Florida, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Iowa State, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina, Rutgers, South Florida, Virginia, Wake Forest and West Virginia, among others.
LSU emerged as the other primary contender back in the spring.
But scoring an offer from the Irish proved a pivotal point in the 6-foot-2, 180-pound prospect’s recruitment. He glowed about the opportunity in April, shortly after receiving a scholarship.
“I know they get great exposure,” Stepherson told Scout.com. “I learned about their recent deal with Under Armour and I know they have a great academic program I love their style of offense and they let their receivers make plays. I love the coaching staff and head coach as well.”
Stepherson turned in a productive junior season with 33 catches for 756 yards and 11 touchdowns. He helped First Coast High School to a 12-1 record.
“Stepherson shows good acceleration off the line of scrimmage and is shifty when operating in space,” Scout.com Florida analyst Corey Bender said. “At 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, he has big-play capabilities and does a good job of tracking and high-pointing the football as well. Overall, Stepherson is a good looking athlete that does a little bit of everything at the wide receiver position.”
Notre Dame has now dipped into Florida twice for the skill position talent in the Class of 2016. Stepherson joins four-star running back Tony Jones Jr. in the current Irish recruiting haul.
He joined safety Jalen Elliott as Notre Dame’s two Irish Invasion pickups, with more likely on the way.