Notre Dame visit will start final stretch for WR Damian Alloway
Nearly four months have passed since Damian Alloway was last on Notre Dame’s campus but little has changed.
The four-star wide receiver recruit still favors two schools above all the rest: Notre Dame and UCLA.
When Alloway left South Bend, a decision appeared to be on the horizon in late July or early August. Yet he couldn’t make up his mind — Irish or Bruins — before starting his senior season at Fontana (Calif.) Summit.
“I got back and my football season got really serious,” Alloway said. “It’s not like I pushed it to the side, but I put my focus to the season and my senior year. I made sure to keep in touch with the coaches at both schools.”
Once again, a commitment decision appears to be on the horizon. Alloway said he plans to visit UCLA one more time — and maybe even Arizona State — before he finalizes his choice in the next month or so. The competition is too close to call.
At UCLA, Alloway sees the team he cheered for growing up in California.
“They’re telling me how as a California kid, you want to play in front of your family,” Alloway said. “It’s kind of effective too, because you do think about things like that. But I just know when it comes to me making my decision, it’s going to be what I want to do. I’m going to make sure it’s the right decision for me.”
At Notre Dame, Alloway sees a school rich in tradition that could offer him a unique path.
“They told me Notre Dame’s a different place for different types of people. Not everybody gets the opportunity to go to Notre Dame,” Alloway said. “They’re really making Notre Dame sound like it’s the place to be.”
When Alloway returns to South Bend on Saturday, he hopes to gain a more complete perspective on what a future at Notre Dame would hold.
“I want to go out there for a second time so I can get the whole vibe of the game atmosphere and get to see the place in the different weather,” Alloway said.
Alloway keeps in touch with Notre Dame offensive coordinator Mike Sanford on a weekly basis. The 5-foot-9, 170-pound Alloway projects as a slot receiver in the Irish offense. He could also be used as a running back at times. He’s done a little bit of both in a 10-0 senior season.
“This guy has pure speed,” said CBS Sports Network recruiting analyst Tom Lemming, who cited a time of 10.6 seconds in the 100-meter dash. “He’s very exciting as a receiver, running back, cornerback and a kickoff returner. This is the kind of guy Notre Dame needs for that offense — a slot receiver who can cause a lot damage. He’d be a big catch for Notre Dame.”
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. 192 overall.
After Alloway opens the CIF Southern Section Central Division playoffs with a game Friday night, he will board an eastbound flight to see the team in person that he’s been watching all season.
“They’re No. 4 in the nation now. There’s nothing bad to say,” Alloway said. “You can tell it’s a well-coached team. Having a quarterback go down and that doesn’t affect them because the next guy up is ready to play. Will Fuller is having a great year.”
Watching Notre Dame contend for a national championship while the coaching staff is recruiting him has been surreal for Alloway. In the coming weeks, he’ll decide if he wants to chase a title with the Irish next season.
“Knowing how hard they’ve been recruiting me and how bad they want me to go to Notre Dame and seeing how good of a year they’re having and how that’s probably going to carry into the next few years, it is pretty cool knowing that is an opportunity that I could have — playing for a national championship team,” Alloway said. “That’s going to go into the decision as well.”
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