Notre Dame received a commitment today from linebacker Jarrett Grace (6-foot-4, 230-pounds). Grace is the fifth verbal commitment the Irish have received for the 2011 recruiting class and the second prospect to commit to the Irish this week.
"I committed to Notre Dame because it was the right time," Grace said. "I didn't want to drag recruiting on and waste other school's time. Notre Dame is a complete school, it has everything that I want beyond football. The academics and the connection you get by the time you graduate from Notre Dame are unbelievable. Also the religious aspect brings things full circle for me. It's just a complete school and it has everything that I could dream about."
"There are so many guys from the area that are going up there that I already have a connection. There are only a certain guys that are Notre Dame guys and those are the type of people that they're recruiting. I think we're all very similar in that we have certain standards. I think the chemistry that the players have right now is really good and I think that it will keep on building."
Something the Irish will need to build is a solid defensive unit and Grace fits the mold of what defensive coordinator Bob Diaco is looking for in his players.
"They're recruiting me to play inside linebacker," Grace said. "I'll play whatever they want me to play, but I like playing inside. I like making the checks and stuff like that. They've been hinting that they want their linebackers to be bigger, both inside and out. They want them to all be taller and thicker.
"I know that coach Kelly doesn't do anything but win. It doesn't matter what the score is going to be, he'll find a way to win. I think they'll have a better defense, so there will be a better chance of winning and getting to bowl games. I have complete trust in coach Kelly and the defensive staff. I'm really excited."
Last fall Grace made his first unofficial visit to Notre Dame for the USC game. Although he enjoyed his trip, it wasn't until he made his second visit that he knew Notre Dame was his school.
"The USC game was my first time getting exposed (to Notre Dame)," Grace explained. "When I was there, I really didn't get much of a feel for things though. There were so many seniors there that they didn't pay much attention to me. But when I went up when coach Kelly was there, it really blew me away and that's when it all hit me. I wanted to commit right then, but I thought about it and I wanted to make a few more visits to make sure that I was making the right decision.
"I had the gut feeling every time I went there since… It gives me butterflies. I'd lay awake dreaming about playing at Notre Dame. There just isn't another place for me. When I first got my offer, I knew that was where I was going to go. I really could feel it deep inside myself.
"I never really narrowed my list of schools down," he said. "I guess the schools that recruited me hardest were Cincinnati, Indiana, and Notre Dame. There might have been schools that I might have wanted to visit earlier in the process, but the more I learned about Notre Dame, I found out that there wasn't any school out there like it. It's just a perfect fit for me."
"I'm a Notre Dame Guy"
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