SOUTH BEND — The wait to commit won't be anywhere as long the college commute for Riley High School senior shooting guard Blake Wesley.
A top priority as a gotta-get guy for Notre Dame over the past 14 months, the 6-foot-4, 170-pound Wesley made it official Friday morning at Riley's Oldham Gym, where he held a socially-distanced press conference to commit to the Irish.
Give or take a red light or two, Wesley's future school is about a 10-minute drive tops from his current one.
"I like it; it's a good school,' Wesley told NDI last January about Notre Dame. "I like how they play. I like Coach (Mike) Brey. I like the coaching staff."
A four-star prospect, Wesley has been ranked as high as 96 nationally.
"He's got the (total) package, man," former Riley coach Andre Owens said to NDI last year about Wesley. "He's got the size; he's got the handle. He's got the work ethic. A lot of kids don't understand that it's not easy. You've got to have the work ethic and be coachable. He's got that in his bag."
Three weeks ago, Wesley narrowed a college wish list that at one point reached 18 schools with 16 offers. He chose Notre Dame from a group of six that included Creighton, Kansas State, Maryland, Purdue and Xavier.
Wesley's commitment is the second for the Notre Dame recruiting class of 2021 — and second from a standout player in the Northern Indiana Conference. On Nov. 11, South Bend Saint Joseph small forward J.R. Konieczny signed his national letter of intent to attend Notre Dame. Wesley attended Konieczny's signing ceremony at Saint Joseph. Two days later, he announced that he was bumping up his commitment timetable. Wesley planned to commit in mid-December.
Konieczny joked last week that he's worked on getting Wesley to commit since he offered Brey his pledge back in August 2019.
"We hang out all the time," Wesley said. "He keeps talking about, 'When are you coming with me?'"
When Konieczny committed, Wesley became really the only serious prospect left on Brey's wish list. Wesley and Konieczny will be the first local products to play for the Irish since Demetrius Jackson (Marian) and Austin Torres (Penn) signed in November 2012.
A crowded backcourt awaits Wesley's arrival. Thanks to the additional year of eligibility offered by the NCAA to current college players during the coronavirus pandemic, junior guards Dane Goodwin, Prentiss Hubb and Cormac Ryan are all projected starters this season, and all have three years of eligibility remaining. So does former Santa Clara guard Trey Wertz, who's expected to sit out this season. There's a chance he becomes eligible if the NCAA rules in favor of the NABC proposal to have all transfers immediately eligible to offset potential coronavirus roster issues.
A first team All-NIC pick his junior season, Wesley averaged a league-best 26.0 points per game for a Riley team that finished 12-11. Wesley and the Wildcats open their season Tuesday at home against LaPorte. A three-year varsity starter, Wesley will play for his fourth different varsity coach in as many seasons in former Bethel University assistant Alex Daniel.