Notre Dame offer stirred emotions for 2018 RB Markese Stepp

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Markese Stepp wasn’t shy about his feelings. A scholarship offer from Notre Dame stirred his emotions.

“It was crazy,” Stepp said. “I kind of got teary-eyed. It’s a dream come true.”

The sophomore running back at Indianapolis Cathedral learned of his Irish opportunity on Friday. He made a phone call to Notre Dame recruiting coordinator Mike Elston, who shared the news.

“They love the way I run,” Stepp said. “They feel like I can help them win a national championship.”

The 6-foot, 210-pound Stepp has started to pick up scholarship offers like he picks up yardage. He totaled 1,295 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns on 155 carries last season.

Now colleges are starting to get in line for his recruitment with two years of high school still ahead of him. Indiana became the first program to offer him back in September. Syracuse, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Michigan State, Illinois, Purdue and Cincinnati added to the list in the months following the season.

The barrage of offers came earlier than Stepp had expected, but he’s trying to not let it overwhelm him. He made an unofficial visit to Michigan State on Sunday.

Stepp visited Notre Dame twice in the fall for its games against Georgia Tech and USC. Those trips made lasting impressions.

“When you’re watching them play, it’s not just watching them play. You’re watching the people that came before them,” Stepp said of Notre Dame's tradition. “You can feel it. This sounds kind of weird, but it feels like there are spirits in the stadium. They’re there with you because of how good the atmosphere is.”

Stepp teams with linebacker Pete Werner, a 2017 Irish target, at Cathedral. Offensive lineman Emil Ekiyor, also a 2018 prospect, is likely to be a future Irish target as well.

tjames@ndinsider.com | 574-235-6214 | Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Sophomore running back prospect Markese Stepp walks off the field after Notre Dame's 41-31 win over USC on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015. (SBT Photo/JARED HAMSHER)