Salvon Ahmed wondered if it would ever actually happen.
Notre Dame defensive backs coach Todd Lyght had been talking with Ahmed, a four-star athlete from Kirkland, Wash., since last fall. Ahmed enjoyed getting to know Lyght, his area recruiter, but wasn’t sure if a scholarship offer would ever materialize.
But earlier this week Lyght and Ahmed connected again. This time the conversation turned in a different direction and by the end of it the Irish were officially on board with an offer.
“It was big,” Ahmed said. “I can’t say I really expected it because we had been talking for so long. I thought maybe they were just interested in me and maybe nothing was really gonna come out of it. When I finally got the offer, it was big.”
Notre Dame joined a list that already included Arizona, Cal, Mississippi State, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, USC, Utah, Washington and Washington State, among others.
Having talked with Lyght for so long, Ahmed has learned plenty about the Irish leading into the offer. Now the plan is to get a little more detailed. Ahmed “definitely” wants to put together a visit for the summer if possible.
Getting on campus should help the 5-foot-11, 182-pound prospect get a better feel for how the coaching staff will deploy him on the field. Lyght hasn’t gone in-depth on that yet.
“It’s just me being an athlete on the field and being able to make plays in the scheme they have,” Ahmed said. “It’s really on me to get over there. They could see me being successful in what they do. Me and him have a really good relationship because we’ve been talking for so long. Hopefully I get involved with a lot of the other coaches and we kinda go from there.”
Before getting to South Bend, Ahmed has some other visit in the works. He’ll make a trip to Oregon on April 30 for its spring game. Stanford will play host May 21 for a Junior Day.
Ahmed sees these visits as a critical piece to the process.
“I think not just seeing it but how you feel,” Ahmed said. “Kinda the connection you have with the coaches is definitely what you want. Feeling at home. You definitely want to be, ‘OK, I feel comfortable here. I’ve got a great connection with the coaches.’ For me, a lot of it is about comfortability and see how good your chances are to be a factor early and stuff like that.”
Spring trips will help Ahmed sort through a “wide open” process. Right now the goal is to come up with a top five this summer.
New programs could join the mix between now and then. LSU has been in contact. Michigan is expected at Juanita High School on Monday. UCLA will also be sending an assistant soon and Lyght told Ahmed he’ll be by in the next couple weeks.
At this point, Ahmed believes the Pac 12 programs have an edge in familiarity.
“I got a lot of the Pac 12 schools early on,” he said. “I was able to create a good relationship with a lot of the coaches at those schools. I feel like the Pac 12 school I’ve probably got the best connections with are Stanford and UW, just because of how much we talk. I talk with USC a lot as well. Hopefully I can get down there sometime soon too. But definitely a great relationship with UW and a great relationship with Stanford.”