QB recruit Kizer trusts Notre Dame's process

TYLER JAMES
South Bend Tribune

DeShone Kizer didn’t feel the need to worry about Notre Dame’s plans to replace former offensive coordinator Chuck Martin.

He trusted head football coach Brian Kelly would make the moves necessary to keep improving his offense and program.

“I kind of sat back and allowed all this to happen and just stayed on the outside,” said the verbally committed quarterback. “I didn’t want to get too involved with it. I knew there were going to be a lot of changes, so I didn’t want to get caught up with it. Now that things are falling into place, I’m really loving it.”

Nearly everyone but the university itself has reported wide receivers coach Mike Denbrock will become the next offensive coordinator at Notre Dame. As one would expect, Denbrock has started to communicate more frequently with his future quarterback from Toledo (Ohio) Central Catholic, talking once a week on average while Denbrock is on the road recruiting and Kizer plays his final basketball season.

“Coach Denbrock and I are getting on page to have a great relationship,” Kizer said. “Coach Martin is a guy that recruited me the most. I hate to see him leave, but I’m sure he’ll be very successful at Miami (of Ohio). I can’t wait to see what Coach Denbrock and I can do now.”

Kizer visited South Bend multiple times in the fall but was unable to use his official visit in December for the awards banquet, like many of his fellow commits. Kizer’s basketball season, in which he’s averaging roughly 17 points, six assists and five rebounds at point guard, prevented a return to the ND campus.

He will finally be able to use his official visit for the weekend of Feb. 1.

“I think it’s a perfect time for me to take an official visit, because it’s right before signing day,” Kizer said. “With all these changes that are going on, hopefully a lot of things will be set with the new contract with Under Armour and the new coaches coming in.

“Hopefully, everything can kinda clear out so I can come in and see things at the beginning of this new situation that’s being put together.”

By that time, Kizer’s been told, a new quarterbacks coach should also be in place. He’s only heard speculation of possible candidates, but no specific names from Notre Dame’s coaching staff.

He’s confident that the replacement will be suited to take advantage of the 6-foot-5, 223-pounder’s skill set that accumulated 2,847 passing yards, 30 passing touchdowns, 530 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns in Kizer’s senior season.

“They said they have a good idea of who it’s going to be, but they’ve yet to tell me any information,” Kizer said. I’m sure it’s going to be a great guy, though. Being at Notre Dame, they get to hand choose what they want.”

“With us having two dual-threat-style quarterbacks in the program (coming in), myself and then (2015 commit) Blake (Barnett) behind me, I’m sure it’s going to be a guy that can accommodate to both our running and passing threats. I’m sure that the guy that they bring in will be a great fit and I can’t wait to meet him and get to know him more.”

DT nixes visit

Marcus Griffin’s plans to visit Notre Dame lasted less than 48 hours.

Following an in-home visit with defensive line coach Mike Elston on Monday night, Griffin said the Irish were in line to receive a weekend visit from the 6-foot-2, 296-pound defensive tackle. On Wednesday night, Griffin backed off those plans.

The senior from Bellevue, Wash., said he would visit Arizona this weekend instead of Notre Dame. He has yet to receive an offer from the Irish, but remained confident one would come if he visited.

With the decision, Griffin said the Irish have fallen out of the running for his commitment, which he will announce on Feb. 5. In a text message, Griffin said his change in plans weren’t spawned by a specific reason. However, Griffin later said he recently learned of complications with Notre Dame’s foreign language requirements for admission. Griffin said he took sign language, but that he would need to take different foreign language courses to accompany his grades and test scores.

Rivals ranks Griffin as a four-star prospect and the No. 3 recruit in Washington. 247Sports slates Griffin as a three-star prospect and the No. 54 defensive tackle in the 2014 class.

Quarterback DeShone Kizer will be on campus Feb. 1. (Photo provided)