Notre Dame intrigues wide receiver recruit Guyton
For his spring break, Jalen Guyton chose to head north.
The junior wide receiver from Allen, Texas, will visit Notre Dame on Friday as part of a three-school trip to the Midwest. Guyton visited Ohio State on Wednesday and Northwestern on Thursday.
“I like a college like Notre Dame,” Guyton said of his decision to stop in South Bend during his time away from school. “Growing up I watched them on TV so I figured it would be cool to at least get out here and see the campus.”
And in a fortunate twist for Notre Dame, Friday’s weather might trump the rest of the week. A visit to Notre Dame on Wednesday would have been drenched in rain. Poor weather in Columbus didn’t dampen Guyton’s trip to Ohio State.
“It was beautiful,” Guyton said. “It was great. I never would have imagined everything that it was.”
He has similarly high hopes for Friday’s visit at Notre Dame.
“I just want to check out the campus and see everything,” Guyton said. “I've heard that it's real beautiful. Obviously, they have a good coaching staff. I want to check out the town, the environment, the lifestyle and everything that goes with being a part of the Irish.”
Notre Dame joined the race for the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Guyton with an offer on Feb. 17. The start of 2014 has been loaded with offers for Guyton following a strong junior season and a state championship at Allen. Guyton caught 42 passes for 1,028 yards and 13 touchdowns in Allen’s 16-0 season. That ended with four catches for 125 yards and two touchdowns in the state championship at the Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium.
“Playing for state is a team goal,” Guyton said. “That's everything that you dream of. To have that come true was really great.”
The Irish won a game of their own in Arlington last season which has helped Notre Dame’s recruiting efforts in the state. But as Guyton sees it, the perception of Notre Dame hasn’t changed much in his area. He still holds the Irish in high regard.
“I don't hear much about Notre Dame from other people,” Guyton said. “I have a couple friends that like Notre Dame and they're definitely down here, but in that context, not really.”
The Irish coaching staff, led by secondary coach Kerry Cooks, has worked on building a relationship with Guyton. The wide receiver prospect said he talks regularly with Cooks and also has spoken with head coach Brian Kelly.
The year started with a number of schools offering Guyton including Clemson, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Stanford and Oklahoma. He’s started to receive attention much like his quarterback Kyler Murray, who threw for 3,669 yards, rushed for 1,274 yards and combined for 65 touchdowns.
“We've worked hard for everything that we've gotten,” Guyton said. “Being able to do it on Fridays and doing it for 16 weeks and winning state, that was just proof of how hard we worked.”
As Murray’s big-play threat, Guyton established himself as a three-star college prospect. Rivals ranks Guyton as the No. 43 wide receiver in the 2015 class and No. 51 overall in Texas. 247Sports slates him as the No. 77 wide receiver and No. 79 in Texas.
Still, he’s not satisfied as a football player.
“You can always get better doing something,” Guyton said. “My route running can probably always use some polishing up. I want to get faster, bigger and stronger.”
Guyton has a trip to Clemson penciled in for April with Stanford, Yale, Oklahoma and Texas Tech as potential visits.
Watch highlights of Guyton here.
TJames1@SBTinfo.com | 574-235-6214 | Twitter: @TJamesNDI