Notre Dame's football tradition a selling point for Fertitta
Irish busy offering 2015 recruits
Nicco Fertitta is no stranger to Notre Dame.
Twice before his junior season at Bishop Gorman High, the safety from Las Vegas made a visit to South Bend. Last spring, he traveled along with former teammate Nate Starks, a running back recruit, for an unofficial visit. Then in the summer, Fertitta returned for a camp.
Now, Fertitta has been invited to make a longer stay at Notre Dame. On Tuesday, the Irish extended him a scholarship offer.
“It was a good feeling,” Fertitta said. “They had been talking to me a lot before that. It was cool for them to pull the trigger to invite me to be part of their program.”
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound prospect has had a relatively quiet recruitment to date, but the Irish interest could boost his status. Fertitta also holds offers from Indiana, Boston College, Villanova, Utah and Hawaii. The 2015 recruit credits his hard work in the offseason for the improvement that has caught the eyes of the Irish
“Last offseason, I worked harder than everybody else,” Fertitta said. “I know that. I definitely feel like I earned it and proved it this season by going out and playing my game.”
In a season that ended with another state championship for Gorman, Fertitta tallied 47 tackles, 3½ tackles for a loss, five pass deflections and an interception. Fertitta has not received a star-rating from Rivals or 247Sports.
Fertitta, whose father, Lorenzo, is the CEO and co-owner of Ultimate Fighting Championship, plans to make a return trip to Notre Dame. He wants to visit every school that has offered him this spring, which could lead to a verbal commitment sometime this summer. The Irish have placed themselves in a strong position early.
"It's definitely a place I'm interested in,” Fertitta said. “I really liked the campus and the whole legacy and tradition that they bring. They're one of the most prestigious programs in college football history."
Holiday wants to visit
Versatility and size have made DeChaun Holiday a hot target on the recruiting trail.
On Tuesday, Notre Dame added its name to the list of schools pursuing the 2015 defensive back prospect. Holiday received offers from Tennessee and Arizona State in the following days.
The 6-2, 200-pound recruit played cornerback and wide receiver as a junior at Mission Hills High in San Marcos, Calif.
"I showcased myself a lot better than in my sophomore year,” Holiday said. “I improved my ball skills on defense and played on the offensive side of the ball to help my team out however I could.”
Holiday, a four-star prospect, has earned more than 10 offers, including ones from Arizona, Nebraska, Vanderbilt and UCLA. 247Sports slates him as the No. 12 safety in the 2015 class. Rivals ranks him as the No. 22 cornerback.
The offer from Notre Dame will likely result in a visit to South Bend for Holiday as he continues to weigh his interest in the Irish.
“I've been looking at their history a little bit,” Holiday said. “I've been interested in them before.”
More 2015 offers
The Irish coaching staff has been busy on the recruiting trail to start the calendar year, and the action hasn’t been limited to the 2014 class. Here’s a look at other 2015 prospects reporting offers from the Irish this month:
- DE Byron Cowart, 6-4, 250; Seffner (Fla.) Armwood: Cowart holds more than 20 offers, including Alabama, Auburn, Florida and Oregon. Rivals rates him as a five-star prospect and the No. 1 strongside defensive end in his class. 247Sports slates him as a four-star prospect and No. 7 at his position.
- DL CeCe Jefferson, 6-3, 260; Glen St. Mary (Fla.) Baker County: Jefferson holds nearly 20 offers, including Alabama, Florida, Florida State and USC. 247Sports slates Jefferson as a five-star prospect and the No. 3 strongside defensive end. Rivals rates him as a four-star prospect and the No. 6 defensive tackle.
- CB Kevin Toliver, 6-2, 182; Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian: Toliver, a five-star prospect, verbally committed to LSU in November. He ranks as the top cornerback in the 2015 class according to both Rivals and 247Sports. Rivals ranks him as the No. 3 overall prospect in the class.
- DT Kendrick Norton, 6-2, 290; Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian: Norton, a four-star prospect, verbally committed to Florida State earlier this month. Rivals ranks him as the No. 13 defensive tackle. 247Sports has him as the No. 11 offensive guard.
- S Ben Edwards, 6-0, 196; Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian: Edwards holds nearly 30 offers, including Auburn, Ohio State, South Carolina and Stanford. Rivals rates him as a four-star prospect and the No. 5 safety. 247Sports slates Edwards as a three-star prospect and No. 26 at the position.
- S Deontai Williams, 6-1, 180; Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian: Williams, a three-star prospect, verbally committed to Florida earlier in this month. Rivals ranks him as the No. 24 safety in his class.
- OL Zach Robertson, 6-5, 314; Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco: Robertson, a four-star prospect, holds offers from Cal, UCLA, USC, and Utah. 247Sports slates him as the No. 8 offensive guard in his class. Rivals ranks him as the No. 17 offensive tackle.
- ATH Jordan Cronkrite, 5-11, 197; Palmetto Bay (Fla.) Westminster Christian: Cronkrite, a four-star prospect, holds more than 20 offers, including Alabama, Florida State, Miami and Oregon. Rivals ranks Cronkrite as the No. 14 athlete in his class. 247Sports slates him No. 19.
- ATH Tim Irvin, 5-9, 183; Palmetto Bay (Fla.) Westminster Christian: Irvin, a four-star prospect, holds more than 20 offers, including Alabama, Florida, Florida State and Michigan State. Rivals ranks him as the No. 2 all-purpose back in his class. 247Sports slates Irvin as the No. 17 athlete.
- RB T.J. Simmons, 6-0, 195; Lakeland (Fla.) Christian: Simmons holds more than 10 offers, including Florida, Ohio State and Penn State. Rivals rates Simmons as a four-star prospect and the No. 18 running back. 247Sports slates him as a three-star prospect and the No. 34 running back.
- LB Cassius Peat, 6-4, 235; Tempe (Ariz.) Corona Del Sol: Peat, a three-star prospect, holds offers from Arizona State, California, Michigan State and Vanderbilt. 247Sports slates him as the No. 15 outside linebacker. Rivals ranks him No. 28 at the position.
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