Isaiah Robertson lowered his expectations before visiting Notre Dame again.
Associate head coach Mike Denbrock talked with the four-star wide receiver Friday about the next day’s trip. Robertson had yet to score a scholarship offer from the Irish staff. Saturday likely wouldn’t be when it materialized, Denbrock advised.
Then during the visit, head coach Brian Kelly met with Robertson and his family. That’s when an offer arrived. Robertson had to take some time to process the change in plans.
“I was surprised at first,” Robertson said. “They actually called me the day before, coach Denbrock did. He was like, ‘Don’t get in the mindset that we’re gonna offer because we’re not going to tomorrow.’ It wasn’t even on my mind at that point. I still went so my family could see the place and see why I liked it so much.
“When they pulled me into the room and offered me, I was shocked at first. But it was a great feeling.”
Notre Dame joined Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Maryland, Minnesota, Penn State, Syracuse, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin, among others, in having offered. The Irish did so with a twist.
Kelly offered the 6-foot-3, 190-pound prospect as an athlete. Robertson plays defensive back and wide receiver at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, Ill. He could fit in as a safety or receiver if he chooses to give Notre Dame a commitment.
Robertson doesn’t have a preference.
“I like both,” Robertson said. “I feel like I can play both at a high level and I have fun at both. I’ve been doing both for a long time, so it really doesn’t matter.”
Since safety might be the first landing spot for Robertson in college, he watched Irish defensive backs coach Todd Lyght during practice. Lyght was conducting a position meeting when Robertson arrived for the visit.
“I was just watching him,” Robertson said. “I’ve been there before but he wasn’t really coaching. He was just talking. Being there then the TV series Notre Dame had, I saw him as a really nice, laid back guy that doesn’t get extremely fired up. Being there with him, I could see the emotion and his fire for coaching and trying to get his players better. It was actually striking how intense he was coaching up his DBs.”
Now with an offer in hand, Robertson plans to start comparing Notre Dame to the other programs on his list.
Wisconsin will get a visit on April 23. Robertson is also looking to visit Illinois either this coming weekend or later in the month. Right now he says all contenders are equal, but that should be changing later in the spring.
“I’m getting this out of the way in the beginning or middle of summer,” Robertson said. “I’m probably coming out with my top choices by like the end of May. We’ll see what goes on from there.”