The biggest football recruiting weekend for Notre Dame this season has already reaped its rewards.
Four-star wide receiver Deion Colzie, a 2021 recruit, pledged to the Irish on Saturday, announcing the news via Twitter. He’s one of over 60 recruits visiting South Bend and will be attendance to watch No. 9 Notre Dame (4-1) host USC (3-2) on Saturday (7:30 p.m. EDT on NBC).
Notre Dame plucked the Athens (Ga.) Academy product away from Georgia, Alabama, Florida and others. 247Sports pegs the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Colzie as its No. 6 wide receiver and No. 55 overall player in the 2021 recruiting class. Rivals also ranks Colzie No. 6 at the position and No. 95 overall. Colzie plans to enroll a semester early.
Georgia hosted Colzie for its 23-17 victory over Notre Dame on Sept. 21. The Irish increased their communication with Colzie once Division I coaches were permitted to initiate contact with junior recruit on Sept. 1.
Yolanda Jackson, Colzie’s mother, has been an Irish fan for decades and helped influence his decision.
“He’s had more interaction with coach Alexander than he’s had with (UGA receivers coach) Cortez Hankton,” Colzie’s mother, Yolanda Jackson, told the Tribune last month. “That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with that. But I think because Deion is right in their backyard, they are a little bit more hands off.
“Notre Dame knows that he’s right in Georgia’s backyard, so they need to be more hands-on.”
That persistent approach proved to be the correct one for the Irish. Colzie joins quarterback Tyler Buchner, tight end Cane Berrong, offensive linemen Greg Crippen and Blake Fisher and defensive tackle Gabriel Rubio as the sixth commitment in Notre Dame's 2021 recruiting class.
Five of those six, excluding Crippen, are visiting for the USC game. Notre Dame's 2021 class now ranks No. 3 nationally on both Rivals and 247Sports.
This weekend marks Colzie’s fourth visit to South Bend. He trekked to Notre Dame’s Sept. 8 home game against Ball State last season, the Blue-Gold Game in April and to participate in the Sunday Night Football recruiting camp in June.
Colzie projects as an outside receiver but also impresses as a cornerback for Athens Academy.
“He’s dominant,” Athens Academy head coach Josh Alexander told the Tribune last month. “If we can get the ball near him, he makes things happen. He’s big, strong and the kind of kid you like at receiver. He blocks as well as he catches the football and runs routes.
“The way college football is built, those guys have to do a little bit of everything. Blocking on the perimeter is not going to be a problem for him.”