Spartan Digest

Irish lead for Malik Vann

Junior defensive end Malik Vann spent Saturday in South Bend getting to know Notre Dame’s coaches and campus. That visit elevated the Irish to the top of Vann’s short list.

The Irish Invasion produced commitments from defensive end Jonathon MacCollister, wide receiver Jordan Pouncey and running back Markese Stepp. The Irish also moved to the top of junior defensive end Malik Vann's short list.

“I loved it,” said Vann, a 6-foot-3, 245-pounder from Fairfield, Ohio who attend the Blue-Gold Game in April. “Seeing the new commitments and being around them all day and the coaching staff all day was real nice. “They're at the top of my list right now. I still have a little bit of work to do. I do want to go out west and make a trip to USC and Oregon and then down south to a few SEC schools.”

Vann spent most of the day with MacCollister and also spent time with Stepp.

The longer visit let Vann get a better look at what the Irish have to offer.

“I was with MacCollister all day because we did our tour together and Markese Stepp, I have been around him a lot more because I saw him at Michigan State and at Notre Dame we were basically together all day too,” he said. “I liked it and I like how it's a smaller campus too, so it's not like taking you 30 minutes to get across campus if you need something.”

Vann didn’t participate in the Irish Invasion but he paid close attention to how defensive line coach Keith Gilmore interacted with the players.

“I like coach Gilmore a lot,” he said. “He doesn't get too upset about most things. He keeps his head about most things and treats you how you want to be treated and I really like that about him.”

Gilmore, defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder and recruiting coordinator Mike Elston all made sure Vann realized how important he is to the junior haul that already includes Stepp and quarterback Phil Jurkovec as commitments.

“They said I'd be playing D-line up there and they said I'd be a good fit about there and how much they'd like to have me on the team,” Vann said. “I really liked it up there. I liked coach Elston, VanGorder and Gilmore.”

Vann doesn’t have any other visits scheduled for the summer as he is preparing for his junior season at Fairfield High School.

Kentucky, Michigan State, Louisville, Oregon and Tennessee are among Vann’s other offers.

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