Braden Lenzy (Brandon Huffman)

‘They’re definitely up top there’

Braden Lenzy didn’t know a lot about Notre Dame going into last weekend’s Junior Day visit. Now the four-star athlete from Portland knows plenty, including where he’d fit into the Irish offense.

Braden Lenzy made the not-so-simple trek from Portland to Notre Dame for a fact-finding mission last weekend.

Before touching down in South Bend, Lenzy didn’t know much about the football program or the university. Irish coaches piqued his interest by offering a scholarship and staying in contact. Wide receivers coach Del Alexander and defensive backs coach Todd Lyght did the heavy lifting.

Lenzy, a four-star athlete at Tigard High School, took them up on their offer to attend Junior Day. The cross-country trip provided the in-depth information Lenzy sought.

“They definitely exceeded (expectations),” Lenzy said. “I was never really a Notre Dame fan ever. Nobody in my family was and nobody on the West Coast. Nobody really talked about them. I didn’t really have an image of them. I just didn’t know much about them. It was a good informational trip just to see what it was like.”

Lenzy joined a handful of uncommitted prospects on campus. Notre Dame also brought in all six of its current commitments in the Class of 2018.

Four-star running back Markese Stepp, who’s been pledged since last summer, struck up a conversation with Lenzy over Twitter leading up to the visit. Connecting in person proved one of the highlights of the trip.

“He’s just a really chill dude,” Lenzy said. “Obviously, a great football player. He made it really clear that he wanted a couple of us to come play with him. Just a really nice guy you’d want to be your teammate and someone you can see yourself being around and not just because of football.”

Among the other key points of the visit, Lenzy learned more about where the coaching staff sees a potential fit.

Right now the plan is to use the 6-foot-1, 160-pound prospect at receiver. He’s been recruited by other programs at cornerback. Notre Dame sees a potential fit on special teams as well to utilize Lenzy’s speed.

Offensive coordinator Chip Long went into greater detail.

“Just being a playmaker,” Lenzy said. “They made it clear they want me to do kickoff return and use me as a deep threat, across the field. Just being kind of an athlete, similar to what I’ve been doing already in high school just on a bigger scale with a quarterback that can throw it a lot farther.”

Lenzy will now embark on more visits.

Oregon and USC are up next this coming weekend. Lenzy also plans to see Oregon State on March 18, Michigan State on April 1 for its spring game and Oregon later that month for its spring game.

There’s also a chance he starts cutting down the list. Notre Dame should expect to advance.

“They’re definitely up top there,” Lenzy said. “I haven’t fully decided on how I’m going to do the recruiting process. I’m thinking about cutting a couple teams and making a top list soon. I’m sure they’re going to be in there.”

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