Notre Dame among growing list of suitors for WR recruit Donnie Corley

Mike Vorel
South Bend Tribune

ADDISON, Ill. – Donnie Corley can’t really complain.

On Sunday afternoon, a few minutes after he had been offered an invitation to Nike’s prestigious national camp “The Opening,” as his fellow campers filtered off the field at Addison Trail High School just outside of Chicago, Corley smiled and shook his head.

“USC and Alabama just offered me,” he said. “I had a top five for a minute, but they kind of moved a couple people out.”

These are problems unique to a four-star wide receiver, the kind of smooth 6-foot-3 athlete that can glide past defensive backs and make it all look so easy. The Martin Luther King High School standout owns roughly 30 scholarship offers, and it’s easy to see why. On this day, at a regional camp surrounded by his competition, he stood out.

He stands out on paper, too, where Corley racked up 1,087 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns to go along with nine interceptions on defense in his junior season. That production inevitably attracted the likes of national powers Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, USC and Alabama.

And of course, Notre Dame.

Notre Dame assistant coaches Mike Denbrock and Keith Gilmore visited Corley at his high school last week, further emphasizing their interest in the highly sought-after Detroit native.

But while relationships with the coaching staff matter, that’s not what separates the Irish from the pack.

“It’s really just the education part of it,” Corley said. “Having the Notre Dame degree is just an amazing thing. They have some great facilities and a great coaching staff.”

And Corley, who already attended the Irish junior day in March, hopes to see those facilities and coaches in person once again. On Sunday, Corley vowed to visit Notre Dame, and perhaps even compete in the Irish Invasion camp in June.

But though the Irish are on his list, they certainly aren’t alone. Corley plans to visit Tennessee, where much of his family lives, and USC before making a potential commitment. He’ll also consider not only the campus and coaching staff, but also where he might fit on a prospective roster in the immediate future.

“I’m just going to try to nail it down with the depth charts,” Corley said. “Like Michigan State, they’re losing a lot of receivers, so that’s kind of good for me. Two of my teammates are already up there, so that’d be like home.”

With a monumental decision ahead of him and a cast of suitors waiting with baited breath, Corley is torn — simultaneously reveling in the process and ready for it all to be over.

“I want to take my official visits, but I also want to get it over with,” he said with an exasperated grin. “I’m kind of lost right now.”

Considering the ever-expanding list of potential landing spots, “lost” is an appropriate term.

But will Donnie Corley find himself at Notre Dame?

mvorel@ndinsider.com | 574-235-6428 | Twitter: @mikevorel

Notre Dame wide receiver target Donnie Corley has plenty of offers from national programs. (Photo courtesy of Student Sports)