It’s hard to pinpoint what made Tarik Black one of the nation’s top junior receivers and an early Notre Dame target.
The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder from Cheshire, Conn., has the size and speed coveted by college football coaches nationwide. He also has the production to back it up, having caught nearly 200 passes for almost 3,000 yards in his first three years of high school ball.
Then there’s the academic status he has achieved at the 222-year old Cheshire Academy, one of New England’s oldest boarding schools.
Notre Dame liked the total package and that’s why the Irish offered on Tuesday.
“Coach (Scott) Booker said they’re excited about me and they want me to visit soon,” Black said. “He said they love my skill set but just needed to size me up and make sure I’m a legit 6-4 and they like how I attend a school that’s great academically.”
Black has collected scholarship offers from some of college football’s top programs. His offer list includes Alabama, Miami, Michigan and UCLA.
Still, there was something special about landing one from Notre Dame.
“I feel great,” he said. “It's one I've wanted for a while now. The blend of academics and athletics is very important.”
Black hopes to make his first visit to Notre Dame later this spring.
He has already visited Alabama, Connecticut and Michigan. He expects to see Stanford and UCLA next month. Michigan State could get a look soon as well.
Several schools have already grabbed Black’s attention and the Irish are in that mix with Alabama, Arizona State, Connecticut, Michigan, Michigan State, Stanford and UCLA. More schools could make the list as the recruiting process develops.
Black’s coach didn’t record full season stats, but he was as dominant as a junior as he was as a sophomore when he caught 57 passes for 926 yards and 12 touchdowns. He hauled in 40 passes for 745 yards and nine touchdowns as a freshman.
“I’m never satisfied,” he said. “I should have played better. I have a strong all-around skill set and I’m always working to better myself as a complete receiver.”