Quarterback Brandon Wimbush commits to Notre Dame
Heather Wimbush had just discussed her son Brandon’s recent decommitment from Penn State, last weekend’s visit to Notre Dame, and this week’s commitment to the Irish, but before she hung up, she offered one last thought.
“You guys are getting a gem,” she said late Tuesday afternoon via cell phone as she made her way to the supermarket. “I know he’s my son and I’m biased, but he’s a good boy.”
He’s also a very good football player, one the Irish are no doubt thrilled to have. Wimbush on Tuesday added a vital piece to Notre Dame’s 2015 recruiting puzzle, just a few days after making an official visit for last weekend’s Stanford game.
“He’s a major catch,” CBS Sports Network recruiting analyst Tom Lemming said of the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Wimbush, who he rates as a four-star prospect.
Notre Dame had for a long spell been empty at the spot. The Irish thought they had their quarterback in this class when California standout Blake Barnett picked the Irish. But Barnett this spring backed out of that pledge and later picked Alabama.
Wimbush, unable to be reached by phone Tuesday evening, adds to the continuity at the position. Senior Everett Golson retains a season of eligibility in 2015. Sophomore Malik Zaire has three seasons of eligibility remaining following this year, and true freshman DeShone Kizer is likely ticketed for a redshirt year, meaning he will have four seasons left.
Now add Wimbush, who plays at powerful St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, N.J.
“He plays against the best competition in New Jersey,” Lemming said.
Through four games this season, Wimbush has completed 74 of 101 passes for 1,112 yards and 12 touchdowns against just one interception. Wimbush also has 221 rushing yards with three TDs.
Wimbush’s visit last weekend included quality time with first-year quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur, some time with Irish coach Brian Kelly and a trip to the Grotto.
“It’s something that they didn’t really have to expose us to, but ironically I think it ended up taking on a little bit of a spiritual feeling that ended up being a big part of our experience there,” Heather Wimbush said.
Prior to the visit, Heather said her son didn’t have any real expectations about the school.
“You don’t know what to expect,” she said, “but clearly it went beyond expectations. I think it kind of surprised him a little. He really didn’t know a lot about Notre Dame.”
Wimbush takes his academics seriously. After arriving home late Sunday, Heather gave her son the opportunity to sleep in Monday and arrive at school a few hours late.
“But he was out the door,” she said. “He said, ‘I really hate missing all this school work.”
Heather, a Penn State alum, knows her son faced a tough decision in dropping Penn State.
“He loved the staff there,” she said. “This was not an easy thing.”
She feels that her son picked Notre Dame for reasons beyond athletics.
“I think somewhere in his mind he thinks Notre Dame,” she said, “is better in the long run for his future.”