Koyack Picks Notre Dame

The Irish coaching staff received a pleasant surprised today as tight end Ben Koyack called the Notre Dame football office and committed to Brian Kelly. Koyack from Oil City High School (Pa.) is the No. 2 rated tight end in the country by Scout.com.

After receiving three verbal commitments for the 2011 recruiting class on Saturday, the Irish received more good news today when tight end Ben Koyack (6-foot-5, 240-ponds) called Brian Kelly and committed to the Notre Dame coaching staff. IrishEyes.com spoke with Koyack's recruiting advisor, coach Ray Beers to confirm Ben's commitment.

"There was a text message from Ben late last night that said, ‘I want to go to Notre Dame', Beers recalled. "This morning we started texting back and forth at about 6:00 o'clock. We were talking about everything and he was just really excited about Notre Dame.

"After I verified with the parents that they were satisfied with Notre Dame, I called Notre Dame and set up a time for Ben to call them. We got that set up and he and his parents called coach Kelly at 12:05 from the high school and committed. I think I got a phone call from every coach at Notre Dame shortly after that and they were ecstatic."

Koyack was fielding calls from just about every big-time program in the country, but he was more interested in finding the right school than he was about collecting scholarship offers. Last week Koyack trimmed his list of potential schools to two; Notre Dame and Ohio State. After making an unofficial visit to Notre Dame this weekend, Koyack was expected to make his announcement in June or July.

"He's obviously highly regarded around the country and the pressure really started to build on him," Beers said. "He's from a very quiet, private family and it was just getting the point that the family was getting tired of everything and Ben was getting tired of everything. After the visit to Notre Dame, he just felt he had found the right school.

"We went out there and saw everything they had to offer. Ben really fell in love with the campus. He likes the idea of a small college atmosphere and big-time football. They're a Catholic family. The academics are out of this world and that was a big selling point. He likes the athletic facilities and how the facilities are set up. He fell in love with coach Kelly and the coaching staff there. They presented themselves very well. The put zero pressure on him and that was very important to Ben. He didn't get the pressure and that completely turns been off. They were very cordial and welcoming and we can't say enough about Notre Dame.

"There are a lot of kids that like the limelight, Ben doesn't. Ben said to me, ‘Coach, I want to be under the radar. I want to go to campus and be the one that no one knows about and I want to be the one that nobody has expectations about. Then I want to be the one that stands out.

"He could have dragged this on for a long time, but instead he found a school that he liked and made a commitment. He had a couple days to wrestle with this after visiting Notre Dame, but he made the commitment just like he said he was going to."

Koyack had 41 catches for 748 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior despite missing four games. As a sophomore he had 48 catches for 800 yards and 10 touchdowns.

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