Donte Burton was committed to North Carolina for more than eight months until the cornerback from Loganville, Ga., reopened his recruitment on April 13.
Notre Dame offered a month later. Now it appears the Irish lead, despite last weekend’s scratched visit to Irish Invasion.
“I’m continuing to build a relationship with coach (Todd) Lyght,” Burton said. “He talks to me almost every other day. He talks to my dad as well. We’re starting to really like Notre Dame and we can’t wait to go up there and visit whenever we get the chance and get a feel for the program.
“They’re on the top of the list for sure.”
Notre Dame’s competition comes from an offer list that includes Colorado, Louisville, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
“I’m trying to stay hungry and trying to go out here this year and help my team win as many games as possible,” Burton said. “I’m trying to play early in my freshman year in college. I’m going to keep grinding and keep working until I get what I want.”
A half dozen Power 5 programs have been pushing the envelope with Burton at a higher pace than the rest.
“I would say Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Missouri,” Burton said. “Those are the schools that are really pushing. They’re recruiting me really hard.”
Burton and his father are planning an August recruiting tour with West coast, Southern and Midwest destinations.
“I’ll probably be making some visits close to the end of the summer because my dad is off a lot during the end of summer,” Burton said. “Really, I want to get up to a lot of places I haven’t been yet. I want to go to Notre Dame, Oklahoma State and Oregon. I want to get to places that I haven’t seen before.”
With a strong academic profile, Notre Dame makes sense as a potential match.
“I have a 3.7 GPA,” Burton said. “I want to do as well as I can in football. I want it to take me as high as I can go. But then again, you always have that fall back plan and you want that good degree where when it is time to get in the workforce, you can find that job easily instead of it being a hard search for you.”
It appears Notre Dame’s cornerbacks coach has drilled that point home.
“Todd Lyght, great guy, great guy,” Burton said. “I know he played in the league for a while and he knows what he’s talking about. He knows what he’s doing.
“I look forward to getting a view of the campus, see how the players are treated and see what’s going on in the academic world and the athletic world at Notre Dame.”
If Burton’s summer goes as planned, the 5-foot-11, 173-pound corner will make an early fall commitment.
“If not the first, by the second game of my season, I’ll make my decision.”