For Phil Jurkovec, the decision to commit to Notre Dame wasn’t as difficult as it appeared.
The 6-foot-5, 200-pound quarterback from Gibsonia, Pa., landed scholarship offers from Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Penn State and several others, but he always had his eyes on the Irish.
He finally pulled the trigger during a visit to South Bend on May 16.
“The whole college experience at Notre Dame sets it apart from other schools for me,” Jurkovec said. “The opportunities that come with Notre Dame in sports and academics are second to none, in my opinion. I also love the tradition and campus.”
The relationship he developed with quarterbacks coach Mike Sanford and head coach Brian Kelly played a large role in the early commitment.
“Coach Sanford is a great coach and a great person,” Jurkovec said. “Coach Kelly and the other coaches at Notre Dame are all like that. The feeling at Notre Dame is that the coaches will push for excellence and success while doing things the right way.”
Jurkovec is a realist and he knows Nick Saban, Urban Meyer and many more college coaches will continue to recruit him until signing day in 2018.
He doesn’t expect anything to change.
“My family and coaches will help me with that but ultimately I know that I want to go to Notre Dame and I hope other coaches will respect that decision,” he said.
With the recruiting process behind him, Jurkovec is looking forward to adding to Notre Dame’s Class of 2018.
“It feels good to have it done already so that I can focus now on high school while knowing what I’m doing for college,” he said. “I’m extremely excited to be the first commit of the 2018 class and hopefully there will be more soon.”
Jurkovec already has talked with top prospects Markese Stepp, Jaelen Gill and Zack Kuntz and he plans to communicate with others in the future. Stepp and Gill are two of Notre Dame’s top running back targets in the rising junior class while Kuntz is the top tight end on the Irish board.
“I just hope for a great 2018 class to go to Notre Dame to help the 2017 class, which is already loaded,” he said. “There’s a ton of time before my class signs but it would be awesome to get those three players. There are a number of guys who I’ve either seen at camps or follow on Twitter who share interest in Notre Dame, so I want to reach out to them.”