Nikola Djogo came to Notre Dame on a basketball mission.
Two days on campus for an official visit gave Djogo, a senior small forward from Canada, plenty to consider from that perspective. But attending the football game against Navy on Saturday afternoon might have been the highlight anyway. Djogo had never seen anything quite like it.
“It’s just so many people uniting over one thing,” Djogo said. “It was ridiculous. I haven’t been to a football game before, so I can say it’s been one of the best experiences to watch it. We came down the tunnel before the game and just stepping out and seeing all those people cheering and chanting, the pushups after field goal, it was just amazing.”
Djogo and his father flew in late Thursday for their second official visit.
Notre Dame put together an in-depth campus tour and introduced the 6-foot-7 prospect to the team. He spent time Friday playing pickup. His team included Steve Vasturia, V.J. Beachem, Elijah Burns and Martin Geben.
He spent a little time guarding freshman shooter Matt Ryan. Djogo felt a certain amount of comfort in how current players ran the pickup games.
“It was cool because in the scrimmage, every single play we set up the same way,” Djogo said. “Even though it was pickup, we put the two guards on the block and the two bigs would come down screen and we would play from that. That’s exactly how I play at AAU, that’s the start up kind of way. It felt natural there. It was good ball movement, good spacing and nobody was too selfish.”
Djogo watched practice Saturday morning before the football game and went a little more in-depth with Mike Brey on how he could fit into the system.
“He showed me a bunch of tapes from past grads like Pat (Connaughton),” Djogo said. “He showed me Steve’s tapes and just kinda the way they read off of ball screens and make plays for others. He used my tapes that I had on the Internet and he kinda conjoined them together and played them back and forth. You could see the similarities. It was great. He clarified a lot of stuff.”
Djogo will now file away the Notre Dame visit as his recruiting process continues.
Scholarship offers from Northeastern, Penn and Winthrop remain on the table. His other official visit went to Northeastern.
Butler, Tennessee, Wichita State, Wisconsin and Nebraska are among the other programs expressing more interest.
Djogo plans to start looking into more visits as the season approaches and could wait until the spring to sign. But there’s also the possibility that at some point this fall he’s seen enough and will put pen to paper during the fall period in November.
Either way, Notre Dame figures to contend until the process is over.
“Automatically, they’re definitely one of my top choices right now,” Djogo said. “It’s just a whole sense of unity and family. I didn’t see a single guy there that didn’t seem to get along with everyone. It’s a great fit both academically and athletically. It challenges you in both aspects. You can’t go wrong there.”