Sophomore quarterback Phil Jurkovec hadn’t had any personal contact with the Notre Dame staff before getting an invitation to last weekend’s showdown with USC.
The 6-foot-5, 190-pounder from Pine-Richland High School in Gibsonia, Pa., jumped at the opportunity and was glad he did.
“It was great,” he said. “I had an awesome time.”
Jurkovec and his parents arrived in South Bend around 3 p.m. and spent the next few hours touring campus and mingling with the other visiting prospects.
That let him reconnect with several of the other Western Pennsylvania prospects including Damar Hamlin, David Adams, Phil Squires and Notre Dame commitment Josh Lugg.
After watching a highlight video, Jurkovec headed to Notre Dame Stadium where the Irish knocked off the Trojans, 41-31.
He was very impressed with what he saw on the field, especially the play of freshman quarterback DeShone Kizer.
“It was a great game between two really good teams. Notre Dame played really well,” he said. “I was really impressed (with Kizer). Some of those throws he was able to make, he was so poised back there. To be able to step in, being a backup, he’s definitely one of the best quarterbacks in the country.”
Jurkovec spent the night in South Bend and attended mass with his parents at Notre Dame’s Basilica of the Sacred Heart on Sunday.
He holds scholarship offers from Penn State, Pittsburgh, Temple and Wisconsin. He’s also drawn interest from Ohio State.
Through seven games of his sophomore season, Jurkovec has completed 105-of-153 passes (69-percent) for 1,460 yards with 10 touchdown passes to just one interception. He also has rushed 78 times for a team-high 841 yards and eight touchdowns. He has five 100-yard rushing games to his credit.
“I think my strengths are being able to throw and run and just lead the team,” Jurkovec said.
Jurkovec and the Rams are 7-0 but will be tested on Friday when they play Pittsburgh Central Catholic, a team led by Hamlin and Adams, two national recruits.
“We’re excited for it,” Jurkovec said. “We’re ready. We’ve been looking forward to this game all year so it should be a lot of fun.”