Priester Gets Giant Offer

Standing in at 5-foot-10, 170-pounds, Jerrell Priester says that major college football programs have been nervous to offer him because of his size. On Monday, one of the giants in the sport became the first Division-I school to buck the trend.

At track practice after school, Jerrell Priester found out from his coach, that Notre Dame was offering him a scholarship.

Although very excited, the full-ride from the Irish didn't really catch the Fairfax, S.C., product that off-guard. He's been talking to assistant coach Corwin Brown for months, and a couple of weeks ago, Brown told Priester that a scholarship offer was coming.

From there, Priester had faith that it would.

"He tells me that he likes my speed and my ability as a sprint guy," Priester said. He emails with Brown on a daily basis, and talks to him on the phone at least once a week. "He said I have a passion for the game and I play hard. He compared me to a lot of big-time players that have played in the NFL. He compared me to Ray Mickens, Rocket Ismael and there was another person I forgot."

Perhaps Charlie Weis can remind him of who Brown was talking about, when he talks to the Irish head coach on Tuesday morning.

The Allendale-Fairfax High star is also hearing from Clemson, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Buffalo. The interest will likely turn into more offers for one of the nation's fastest players. Before Notre Dame stepped to the table, the only other school that offered free tuition was South Carolina State.

As cloudy as Priester's college future has been, so is the position he'll play on the next level. As a junior, he played wing back and rushed for 1,194 yards on just 99 carries, averaging 12 yards per attempt. He scored 12 touchdowns, and playing linebacker, safety and cornerback, he added 50 tackles and two interceptions. Brown told Priester they're recruiting him as an athlete.

"I want to go in somewhere and see what it is I can do to help the team," Priester explained. He has personal best times of 10.2 handheld and 10.6 electronic in the 100-meter dash. "I'll play wherever I'm needed."

Priester has taken visits to Clemson, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Florida. He plans to take his first-ever trip to Notre Dame sometime in May.

"I like their tradition and they're a good academic school," Priester said of Notre Dame. "To me, it's not all about football. Even though I love football a lot, I want to go somewhere I can get good academics if football doesn't work out. Getting a degree from Notre Dame will lead to a good job coming out of college."

Priester doesn't have a timetable for a college decision, but Notre Dame being the first to offer, puts the Irish program in great shape.

"A lot of schools have shown interest, but they've showed the most," Priester said. "They really do hold a place in my heart, and no matter what happens, Notre Dame will have a spot at the top of my list.

"I'm looking for a place with good tradition, a good academic program and I want to go where I'm wanted. I don't really want to attend a school where just I want to go, I want to go somewhere where I'm wanted and the coaches want me, and I have a good relationship with the coaches."


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