Julian Love is one step away from putting a bow on his recruitment.
Notre Dame landed Love, a cornerback from La Grange Park, Ill., nine months ago. He attended several home games during the season, then returned last weekend for his official visit, which coincided with Notre Dame’s postseason awards show.
“That was definitely a special thing,” Love said. “Especially with the team, I was hanging around most of the guys before the Echoes. It’s a special thing when you’re talking to seniors that have done it before and they’re leaving. You’re not even there yet and you get their experiences, their knowledge you can’t get anywhere else.”
Love chatted up running back C.J. Prosise about the fate of his No. 20 next season, hoping to grab that jersey if the running back departs.
Freshman receiver Miles Boykin, a longtime friend, checked in. So did Torii Hunter Jr., Equanimeous St. Brown, Jay Hayes and Brandon Tiassum, among others. Head coach Brian Kelly and defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder blocked out time as well.
VanGorder gave the 6-foot, 180-pound prospect some things to consider this offseason.
“Coach VanGorder isn’t a big Twitter guy,” Love said. “It was good just talking to him one-on-one. He was talking about some things to look forward to and leadership roles that can be taken. Some DB stuff. It was nice. He was talking to me about, the main thing I need to stress this offseason is gaining muscle, explosiveness and power. He said I have a huge IQ for the game like Jaylon Smith and I just need to match that power. It’ll come. I’m planning to go into ND with a great foundation of speed, strength. They’ll help me mold it.”
Kelly talked with Love before the awards show, then again Sunday over breakfast.
“We were just talking,” Love said. “That was more family stuff and personal time. Not football, just personal one-on-one time. That’s what you need to get a feel for who your coach really is, what type of family guy he is. I enjoyed that too.”
Next month Love will host Kelly and assistants for an in-home visit. Associate head coach Mike Denbrock, the area recruiter, and defensive backs coach Todd Lyght have already stopped by since the end of the regular season.
Otherwise, Love will continue to count down the days before enrolling this summer. He’s also keeping tabs on how the recruiting class is filling in down the stretch.
Four-star linebacker Daelin Hayes and three-star safety Devin Studstill have committed to Notre Dame in the last week, giving the Irish 20 commitments in the senior class. Love continues to work on four-star cornerback Damar Hamlin, a top remaining target.
Love is one of six defensive backs committed with room to add more.
“It’s huge,” Love said. “Defense wins championships and you definitely love to see guys like that — guys that I know will play next to me and give it their all, play with such passion. I’m just super excited to be a part of that. I think we’re building a heck of a class.”