Notre Dame made the scholarship offer official on Monday, but it was one IMG Academy linebacker Will Ignont had been expecting.
“I have been talking to coach (Mike) Elston for a while,” Ignont said. “I called him a few days ago, and he said I had the offer but that they just had to finish checking my transcript because it’s so hard to get into Notre Dame.”
Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Florida, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Tennessee and UCLA are among Ignont’s other offers.
The 6-foot-2, 232-pound linebacker named Notre Dame to his top five last week at The Opening Regional in Orlando.
“You can’t go wrong with Notre Dame,” Ignont said. “They are great on the football field and off of it. You never really hear about players getting in trouble that go to Notre Dame.”
Notre Dame is recruiting Ignont to play weak side linebacker.
“It’s big for me to be compared to a linebacker as great as Jaylon Smith,” Ignont said. “I can come in and do what he did, but it’s definitely not going to be easy. I think with the right coaches I can get the job done. Coach Elston said that the way we makes plays is similar.”
Auburn has been the longtime leader for Ignont, who transferred from New Market (Ala.) Bucktown to IMG in Bradenton, Fla., in January.
“Georgia and Notre Dame are right up there,” Ignont said. “I would say other schools in my top six are UCLA, Michigan and Florida.”
Ignont is on track to graduate in December and plans to commit before this senior season.
“Ideally, I would decide this summer,” Ignont said. “Really I just want the best school for me. If things aren’t going great for me on the field, I still want to be happy at the school and around the town because there’s more to college than just football.”
Ignont wants to visit Notre Dame before he makes a decision. A return visit after he makes a decision is likely, too.
“I will be home for a while, so I’ll visit schools that are in the area, like Ole Miss, UGA, Alabama and Auburn,” Ignont said. “I’m trying to visit Notre Dame, too, but I’m going to make it a priority to visit there this summer. I know I’m definitely going to take an official visit there.”
Notre Dame signed two players last cycle from IMG, mid-year enrollee safety Spencer Perry and running back Tony Jones Jr.
“Tony’s already started recruiting me,” Ignont said. “He definitely is.”
The Irish have offers out to a few of Ignont’s teammates, including four-star defensive end Joshua Kaindoh, five-star linebacker Dylan Moses, four-star cornerback Isaiah Pryor and four-star cornerback Marcus Williamson. The latter two are Ohio State commitments.