Markese Stepp is in elite company.
Only 10 sophomores in the Scout.com database have Notre Dame offers listed and the running back from Indianapolis Cathedral is part of that group. Stepp called the scholarship from Notre Dame a “dream offer” that stood out among Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, Syracuse, Tennessee, Cincinnati, Purdue and Indiana.
The Irish can have that kind of impact around Cathedral.
“It’s sunk in a little bit more, and it’s a great feeling how high I am to them, how they see me right now,” Stepp said.
The 6-foot, 210-pound running back visited Notre Dame twice last fall but has yet to step on campus this spring. That should change soon.
“I’m trying to get to Notre Dame as soon as possible,” Stepp said. “I just have to call coach (Mike) Elston to get that set up. First he wants me to come up one-on-one with just me and my family and then come up for the spring game.”
Stepp has taken recent visits to Iowa, Michigan State and Penn State. Next up is Ohio State, which will get the running back to Columbus on Saturday. Michigan could come next after that.
“I kind of already got the offers I wanted,” Stepp said. “The ones I would like to have, I guess, would be Michigan and Ohio State.”
Notre Dame should get at least some bump in Stepp’s recruitment from four-star linebacker Pete Werner, the Cathedral standout who committed to the Irish on Monday night.
“He’ll probably be in my ear about (Notre Dame) but laidback about it at the same time,” Stepp said. “His decision will influence it a lot, to be honest.”
When Stepp visits the Irish within the next month, could he end his recruitment?
“I could see myself pulling the trigger at the beginning of junior year or something like that,” Stepp said. “I’m going to keep it open and see what happens down the road.”
Stepp grew up a Notre Dame fan but kept tabs on a couple of other programs as well.
“I was kind of like the bandwagon kid,” Stepp said. “It was always among Notre Dame, Oregon and Florida,” Stepp said. “I would switch off. I liked Oregon’s cool uniforms and De’Anthony Thomas.”
Stepp rushed over 100 times as a sophomore for Cathedral. He posted 888 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns. His best time in the 40-yard dash has been clocked at 4.42 seconds, though according to Stepp, he consistently runs between a 4.47 and 4.50.
“My speed, power and strength are what coaches like about my film,” Stepp said. “I’m working on running routes out of the backfield and becoming more fluid in that area.”