Braden Lenzy left South Bend a couple weekends ago in little need of more information.
Lenzy had taken a Junior Day visit to Notre Dame during the Feb. 11 weekend. By the time the trip ended he’d all but decided on a college destination. But the four-star athlete from Portland decided to test this theory on the road.
Lenzy went through with planned visits to Oregon and USC the following week. Doing so led him right back to the same conclusion: Notre Dame.
“That just added some clarity,” Lenzy said. “That made it clear I wanted to go to Notre Dame.”
As it turns out, Lenzy started to feel that way not long after his Junior Day visits started.
Special teams coordinator Brian Polian kick started the trip by talking with Lenzy about the program. Now in his second stint as an Irish assistant, Polian has plenty of knowledge from which to draw for those conversations. He let Lenzy lead the way.
“He was really good dude,” Lenzy said. “I really connected with him. He was recruiting me when I was there and wasn’t bombarding me with a lot of facts about why I should go to Notre Dame. He was asking questions and getting to the information that I wanted. I thought that was a really beneficial way to recruit.
“He just really made me feel comfortable and I thought that really set the tone for the day. It was early in the day and it seemed like with each coach I met, it made it even clearer to me.”
Lenzy met with most of the staff — head coach Brian Kelly, offensive coordinator Chip Long, defensive backs coach Todd Lyght and wide receivers coach Del Alexander, most notably.
Alexander and Lyght had been teaming up to recruit the 6-foot-1, 175-pound prospect. Long stepped in to lay out a plan for the future. Lenzy is being recruited as a wide receiver, although other programs saw a potential defensive back.
Notre Dame would also like Lenzy to use his skill set on return teams.
“They thought I could do kickoff return as a true freshman with my speed and they way I read the holes,” Lenzy said. “They showed me the offense and how I could fit in. They truly believe I can play there as a true freshmen. With that and just how they coach their players, the philosophies the coaches have, it just seemed right. They didn’t have any downside. Everything they showed me was great.”
Visiting Notre Dame for a full weekend offered another benefit: Lenzy spent time around a core group of commitments and current players.
All six verbal pledges at the time were in attendance. Five uncommitted prospects made the trip as well. Four have since joined the ranks of the committed — four-star cornerback Kalon Gervin, offensive tackle Cole Mabry, three-star receiver Micah Jones and now Lenzy.
Consider that extra bonding time as another sign pointing Lenzy in the direction of his commitment.
“I feel like I’ve known the guys for awhile now already,” Lenzy said. “I just really met them. It just gave you that feeling. I’d want to hang out with those guys even if we weren’t playing football. They’re just really cool people and I enjoyed my time with them.”