Just a half hour separated Brian Kelly from Jim Mora on Tuesday night in the home of Damian Alloway.
Notre Dame and UCLA have been locked in a head-to-head battle for the four-star wide receiver from Fontana, Calif. since the beginning of the season. Both head coaches made in-home visits with Alloway yesterday, with Irish offensive coordinator Mike Sanford along for the ride.
“I’m just trying to take it all in right now,” Alloway said. “I know what both schools have to offer, so I’m trying to figure out the best decision for me. It’s not that one school said better things than the other tonight, but it’s just about what’s the best opportunity for me.
The Irish pitchmen did make a mark.
“Coach Kelly and coach Sanford said that they believe in me,” Alloway said. “They said they recruit a certain type of guy that has a unique personality and a unique skillset. And at Notre Dame, I would have a lot of international opportunities because of the notoriety and prestige of the school. I knew all of this already, but it was good for my family to hear it.”
Alloway lives with his grandparents, who were present last night, and so was his mom. When Alloway took his official visit last month for the Wake Forest game he was joined by his uncle but not his mother.
“They loved (Kelly),” Alloway said. “They loved everything that they said. They think that Notre Dame has my best interests in mind and really like all that Notre Dame can offer me.”
Mora, offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone, receivers coach Eric Yarber and defensive backs coach Demetrice Martin also impressed Alloway and his family.
“They talked about the UCLA alumni base in Southern California,” Alloway said. “They said that if I want to live there after college, there are a lot of UCLA connections. They said UCLA is far enough from my home but not so far that my family can’t come see all of my games.”
Alloway took his official visit to Notre Dame for the home finale against Wake Forest. The date for his UCLA official visit has yet to be determined.
“We tried to set it up for the weekend of Dec. 11 before the coaches left, but we couldn’t because my grandfather might have a scheduling conflict,” Alloway said. “If he does then I will wait to take my visit to UCLA in January.”
Regardless of when Alloway takes his UCLA official visit, a decision between the Irish and Bruins will come shortly thereafter.
“I wanted to decide by mid-December, but I’ll have to wait until after my UCLA visit whenever that is,” Alloway said. “After that visit, I’ll sit down by myself for day and figure out what’s best for me and decide pretty soon.”