Notre Dame going head-to-head with UCLA for WR Damian Alloway

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Damian Alloway had to travel from California to New York in order to get to Notre Dame.

The 2016 wide receiver recruit from Fontana, Calif., met up with his uncle, Donovan Wickline, in the Empire State before embarking on a long drive to South Bend on Wednesday. A shared interest in the Irish led to the unconventional travel plans for Alloway.

“I come up to New York to see my uncle every summer,” Alloway said. “I told him I wanted to come again this summer, and he told me that he wanted to make a road trip to Notre Dame.”

Notre Dame happens to be one of Wickline’s favorite schools. The Irish are also on a short list of Alloway’s top scholarship offers. The combination prompted the duo to plan an unofficial visit for Thursday.

“I’m expecting them to treat me like family and show me the campus so I can get a feel for Notre Dame and see if I feel at home,” Alloway said. “California and Indiana are a lot different, but they’re going to try to make me feel at home. The prestige of Notre Dame, the education, the fact that they play on TV every week — stuff like that has me really interested in Notre Dame.”

While Alloway still needs to sort through how he would fit on Notre Dame’s campus, he seems to have a pretty good grasp on how he would fit in the Notre Dame offense after having discussions with offensive coordinator Mike Sanford.

“They see me as a really dynamic player in their offense,” Alloway said. “They see me as a slot receiver because they run one tight end and one slot. They see me returning punts and kicks and sometimes maybe going into the backfield.”

Alloway, at 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds, has done all of the above in his career at Summit High School. As a junior, Alloway rushed for 642 yards and eight touchdowns, caught 32 passes for 635 yards and 10 TDs and returned four kicks for scores.

The four-star prospect has been pegged at different positions by different recruiting services. Rivals ranks Alloway as the No. 20 wide receiver and No. 110 regardless of position in the 2016 class. 247Sports slates him as the No. 4 all-purpose back and No. 183 overall.

“He’s a good ballplayer,” said CBS Sports Network recruiting analyst Tom Lemming. “He’s small but quick. Notre Dame needs speed and this kid can run.”

Shortly after his visit to Notre Dame, Alloway could settle on a commitment decision. Prior to the visit, he described his recruitment as essentially a two-team race.

“Depending on how this visit goes, it could come down between Notre Dame and UCLA,” Alloway said. “If I really like Notre Dame, if they can blow me away like that, I could commit. If I don’t like it, it could be UCLA. If it’s right in the middle, I could take some time to slow down, talk to my family and make a decision.”

Alloway expects the decision to be clear after visiting Notre Dame. If it’s not, he said he could schedule more visits to take a closer look.

“The biggest thing I’m looking for is opportunity,” Alloway said. “I want the best opportunity education-wise and football-wise — whichever school I feel is going to be the best for me in the long run.”

Below are Alloway's junior highlights via Hudl.

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Wide receiver target Damian Alloway will visit Notre Dame on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Rivals)