Nikola Djogo got on the phone with Mike Brey on Wednesday with it all planned out.
Brey hosted the senior wing last weekend on an official visit and used the midweek phone call as a follow up. Did Djogo have any more questions? How did he feel about the program and University? Brey asked and didn’t quite get the answer he expected.
Djogo told Brey he didn’t think the Irish were a great fit. Silence ensued on the other end of the phone. Djogo broke the awkward pause with his real intentions — to verbally commit.
“He said in all his years of coaching,” Djogo said, “he’d never had anyone shot fake him on a commitment. He loved it. He’s like, ‘That’s the reason me and you are gonna get along.’”
Notre Dame won out over scholarship offers from Northeastern, Penn and Winthrop. Nebraska, Tennessee, Butler, Kansas State, Wichita State and Wisconsin were among the programs to watch Djogo work out this fall and express interest.
Djogo had also visited Northeastern but declined to set up visits to other schools, which could’ve led to more offers. Instead, he gave Brey a commitment.
Visiting South Bend for a couple days — the trip included pickup games with the current roster, watching practice, academic presentations and the Navy football game — revealed to the 6-foot-7, 185-pound prospect he’d already found the right fit.
“I sat down with my coaches and had a bunch of boxes,” Djogo said. “Academics, athletics, conference, coaches, playing opportunity, that kind of stuff. Everything that goes into deciding what school you want to go to. Notre Dame checked off every single one. It was the best possible situation.”
Djogo joins four-star point guard Temple Gibbs and forward John Mooney in the Notre Dame recruiting haul for the Class of 2016.
Five-star center Jarrett Allen, who also visited during the Navy football weekend, and five-star forward Thon Maker remain on the board. Djogo teams with Maker on the Athlete Institute prep basketball team in Mono, Ontario.
Brey and assistant coach Anthony Solomon had been on a school visit to see Maker when Djogo caught their eye during a workout. That trip lead to a scholarship, visit and eventually commitment.
Might Djogo do a little bit of recruiting on Maker now that his process is complete?
“Hell yeah I’ll take on a recruiting role,” Djogo said. “Hell yeah. I’m with him like 12 hours a day.”