By the time Alloway exited campus on Thursday afternoon, the Irish had confirmed their spot atop the California prospect’s leaderboard. That didn’t make the 12-hour trip any better, even if it did validate Alloway’s reason for enduring it.
“That drive was terrible. It was really bad,” Alloway said. “At points I was looking out the window wondering what we got ourselves into. With the visit we just had to Notre Dame, it was all worth it.
“They blew away my expectations. It was a lot to take in and they blew me away.”
Notre Dame leads an eclectic group of UCLA, Cal, Wisconsin and Washington moving forward, with a decision potentially coming next week after Alloway talks over his finalists with his parents and high school coaches. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound athlete will drive back to New York with his uncle on Friday, then fly home to Fontana, Calif., on Monday.
Alloway didn’t commit to a decision next week, but said he wants to be off the market before his senior season. Summit High School kicks off the year on Aug. 27 against Jurupa Valley.
Alloway said he’ll take all five official visits, even after making a commitment. Notre Dame will get one on Oct. 17 for the USC game.
“Notre Dame still holds a little bit of an edge, especially coming off the visit because it’s fresh in my mind, but it’s still a tight race,” Alloway said.
Alloway said UCLA is running second.
As for the visit itself, Alloway spent most of it with the coaching staff, head coach Brian Kelly, offensive coordinator Mike Sanford and receivers coach Mike Denbrock. The Irish see Alloway as a pure slot receiver.
“That’s how they want to use me and they don’t have any strictly slot guys and they feel I can be that dynamic player who takes a pass five yards and goes 55 yards with it,” Alloway said. “They like how I can cut through a defense with sharp moves and that pretty much describes my game perfectly.”
Sanford had stopped by Summit High School before, but this was Alloway’s first chance for extended time with his potential coordinator.
“He’s just a really cool guy,” Alloway said. “He’s a funny guy, a guy I get along with. He’s a guy that could coach me up if I choose to come to Notre Dame.”
Notre Dame’s position with Alloway was advanced enough that Sanford pitched the receiver on doing some recruiting for the Irish. Alloway said Sanford’s ideal out West was to add him and four-star Javon McKinley at the receiver position, with three-star Chacho Ulloa fitting at safety. Alloway said he’s long-time friends with Ulloa.
Alloway downplayed the idea of his friend Lokeni Toailoa, a four-star linebacker and UCLA commitment, following him to South Bend.
“I know Notre Dame was one school he was considering when he first committed, but I don’t see him de-committing and searching again,” Alloway said. “Honestly, I feel he’s going to stick with UCLA.”
Notre Dame didn’t surprise Alloway during the visit, despite it being his first look.
For the Irish program, that’s a good thing.
“People around the stadium and talking to the people around campus who had conversations with me, it feels like family there,” Alloway said.