Irish Land Another

Lakewood High School head coach, Thadd MacNeal confirmed with IrishEyes that his standout defensive end Justin Utupo committed to Notre Dame this morning.

Notre Dame has landed a flurry of commitments over the past week and a half and today the Irish landed another pledge when defensive end Justin Utupo

"We were in my office this morning and he called coach Polian," coach MacNeal responded when asked about Utupo. "He told coach Polian that he wanted to play for the Irish. Coach Weis is going to call him back this evening.

"When they first showed interest in him, coach Polian basically said ‘you're a no-brainer. Our guys want to see you in person.' On film he jumps out at you and he's a good thirty pounds heavier than he was last year. His size was always somewhat of a concern, but once you see him, you realize that this guy is really put together. He's a stud.

"He has not been there," coach MacNeal said. "We have four national kids and he's probably the strongest. He's a kid that wanted to leave California, so he's not afraid to go to Indiana. He'll take his official visit pretty early into the season."

"He's got about 20 offers and at the end of spring we narrowed it down to five schools. Notre Dame, Washington, UCLA, Arizona, and Oregon State. Then there were a couple Big 12 schools with Colorado and Nebraska.

"I sat with his parents and tried to find the positives and the negatives to all the schools" MacNeal explained. "They like what Notre Dame has to offer academically and being a national program. Justin got to meet the defensive coordinator and coach Polian when they came out in the spring. He just felt that he had a very good relationship with those guys, and believes in what they're doing, and he's always kind of liked Notre Dame.

"His mom and dad are really excited about his opportunity to play there," MacNeal added.


IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories