The last thing former Tucker head coach Bill Ballard said to Jamoris Slaughter before leaving to take over the program at Peachtree Ridge was, Notre Dame has been calling and they're going to offer you a scholarship soon. That was two weeks ago, and Slaughter waited kind of impatiently. Notre Dame, a school that wasn't really on his radar before, was now an offer he really wanted.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Slaughter already had scholarship offers from Vanderbilt, Alabama, Ole Miss, Georgia, Maryland, Louisville, Virginia, Clemson, East Carolina and Furman. Notre Dame finally made it number 11. California also offered later that day.
"They hadn't been sending me anything," Slaughter said of Notre Dame. "That was the first time I had ever talked to them.
"It was good. (Coach Weis) was telling me about their tradition and how the campus is, and how they run their football program, and what they have to offer me. I was impressed. He said they would be glad to have me. He said they want to bring in two cornerbacks, and they said I have the right size and the grades for it."
Slaughter, who has a 3.0 GPA, quickly put Notre Dame among his top schools with California, Alabama and Tennessee.
"Because they're like an Ivy League school with a real good graduate program," Slaughter said. "They graduate 99 percent of their players and students, and they have a pretty good football team. I know I can get a good job if I graduate from there."
The day of the offer, Slaughter also talked with Irish defensive backs coach Bill Lewis, and is already building a relationship with him via text messaging. He also texts with California, Virginia and Maryland.
"He was just talking about their secondary and how they have two corners in their secondary that are going to be seniors next year, and they need to bring in guys like me to replace them. He said they need help on defense, and I have a good chance of playing next year if I work hard."
Slaughter played mostly free safety for Tucker last season, but the defense never changed their package if the offense came out with multiple receivers. He would just slide over and cover a receiver, normally the other team's best. Slaughter had 66 tackles, five interceptions and 10 pass breakups, helping Tucker to a 7-3 record.
The whole Irish coaching staff watched Slaughter's film, and Weis told him they really liked it.
"My leadership skills, being very aggressive and I guess my heart," Slaughter said of his strengths as a player. "I normally know what route the receiver is going to run before they do it. You can see signs by the way they start chopping their steps or move their hips. I can read real well.
"I can come up and plug the whole, like a linebacker sometimes," Slaughter said. He reports a 40-yard dash between 4.4 and 4.5 seconds, with a bench press of 275 pounds and a squat of 330 pounds. "I know how to tackle, you can't tackle everybody high, you have to go low."
Slaughter has visited the campuses at Auburn, Boston College, Vanderbilt, Georgia and Furman. He has already set up an unofficial visit to Notre Dame for June 2. He'll go with his parents.
Slaughter also runs track, finishing third last year in the region in the 400. His best time is 49 seconds. He also ran a leg on the 1600-meter relay team that finished fifth in the state.
Not having anyone in the family ever go to college, Slaughter was in a rush to get their at first. He wanted to make a decision quickly and enroll during the spring semester. He has now slowed down a bit. College is something that is a guarantee for the first ever Slaughter.
"I think I'm going to make my decision during the season," Slaughter said. "I'll probably do it after I make a few official visits."