Notre Dame substituted verbal commits on Tuesday.
After consensus four-star defensive lineman Donovan Jeter announced that he had de-committed from Notre Dame earlier in the day, 2017 cornerback Elijah Hicks tweeted his Irish pledge late on Tuesday night.
A 6-foot, 170-pound athlete, Hicks chose Notre Dame over three other finalists — Michigan, Washington and UCLA.
"Without further ado, I'm proud to say I'll be furthering my education at the University of Notre Dame," Hicks said in a video he tweeted on Tuesday night. "Go Irish. From Long Beach, Calif., the heart of the west coast, I'm excited to make South Bend my home.
"Shoutout to the Irish fans. Remember the name Elijah Hicks. I'm ready to play like a champion."
A standout at La Mirada High School in La Mirada, Calif., the same high school current Notre Dame tight end Tyler Luatua attended, Hicks is ranked as a four-star prospect and the No. 27 athlete nationally by Rivals and a three-star recruit and the No. 51 cornerback by 247Sports.
“Elijah Hicks is a very good player,” CBS Sports Network recruiting analyst Tom Lemming said last week. “Notre Dame is desperate for DB help. He’s the kind of guy who can step in and play as a freshman.”
Hicks took an official visit to Notre Dame for the team's 17-10 loss against Stanford last weekend, his first visit to South Bend. He told ND Insider last week that he was leaning towards attending college away from his home state of California.
“It’s one of the schools I’m really interested in,” Hicks said last week. “It’s a big-time, historically great college. I wanted to check it out for the first time.
“Even though they’re struggling this year, it’s one of those schools that won’t have too many losing seasons, especially once they get it all together. The coaches are really recruiting me hard. It’s a great academic school. The alumni base is strong. I thought I needed to go check it out myself.”
Apparently, Hicks liked what he saw. He chose the Irish over scholarship offers from the likes of Michigan, Washington, UCLA, California, Colorado, Oregon, South Carolina, USC and more.
After Hicks visited Notre Dame last weekend, Irish defensive backs coach Todd Lyght followed up with a visit to Hicks' high school on Tuesday.
“We’re always talking,” Hicks said of his relationship with Lyght last week. “It’s probably as strong of a relationship as anybody that I’m getting recruited by.”
Notre Dame has 18 verbal commits — with Hicks being the first from the state of California — in the 2017 class. He'll join cornerback Paulson Adebo and safety Isaiah Robertson in the defensive backfield in South Bend.
Notre Dame's 2017 recruiting class currently ranks sixth nationally by both Rivals and 247Sports.
"During my time in high school I faced many difficult challenges, but I continue to use them as fuel to help motivate me to become the dog I am on the football field today," Hicks said in the video. "I'm humbled to know that I wouldn't be here without God and my parents. I'm very thankful for the way they raised me."
Welcome to the family bro bro !!☘️☘️@ELITHEMAN1— Jayson k. Ademilola♕ (@jaysonademilola) October 19, 2016
Real ones don't fold.....loyalty🍀🍀🍀— Markese Stepp (@markese_stepp) October 19, 2016
It's because of the cake isn't it?? Haha ☘️☘️ welcome to the fam✊🏾 https://t.co/GKSmTKtcF0— PounceyNumbaSeven (@_pouncey) October 19, 2016
Champions Wanna Play With Champions ☘️☘️... Lets Keep Growing! #IRISHELI17E 💪🏾— 1K (@CjHo1mes) October 19, 2016