Four-star junior running back T.J. Pledger landed a scholarship offer from Notre Dame during a summer visit to Notre Dame.
The 5-foot-9, 185-pounder from West Hills, Calif., has remained in close contact with the Irish coaching staff ever since. Todd Lyght dropped by Chaminade College Prep last week to check in with the standout. Irish running backs coach Autry Denson has also put in time recruiting Pledger.
“Coach Lyght came by my practice,” Pledger said. “He's just been letting me know how much interest Notre Dame has in me and to keep up the good work. I talk to coach Denson every day too. He's definitely a coach I look up to. We're just building a solid relationship.”
Pledger hopes to catch an Irish home game this fall, although there are just two remaining (Miami on Oct. 29 and Virginia Tech on Nov. 19). If that doesn’t work out he expects to travel to South Bend in the spring.
“That's what I'm hoping for but if not it will be in the spring,” he said. “I can't wait to get back out there again. I'm working everything out with my parents to try to get back out there.”
Pledger also visited Ohio State and Miami last summer and this fall he caught a game at Arizona State. He hopes to see UCLA and Washington in the near future.
Michigan and USC also have been recruiting Pledger, who holds 19 scholarship offers.
Through eight games this season, Pledger has carried the ball 128 times for 1,024 yards and 16 touchdowns. He has rushed for more than 100 yards six times.
“My season is going great so far,” he said. “It's hard smash-mouth every time I get the football. I'm just trying to be an all-around great player for my team.”
Scout ranks Pledger as the 19th best player overall and the No. 3 running back in the recruiting class of 2018.