2018 RB Markese Stepp gives Notre Dame his commitment

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

The third edition of the Irish Invasion produced its third commitment in three days.

Indianapolis running back Markese Stepp, a 2018 recruit, gave his verbal commitment to Notre Dame on Saturday before announcing it Sunday on Twitter.

“I’m beyond excited to become a part of the legacy in South Bend,” Stepp wrote as part of his announcement.

The 6-foot, 210-pound Stepp has been a frequent campus visitor at Notre Dame, but this time he brought his mother along for the trip for final input.

“If she liked it, I was going to commit because I already loved the place,” Stepp said. “Once she liked it, I knew it was time to pull the trigger.”

Stepp told head coach Brian Kelly he was ready to commit shortly before the Irish Invasion camp started Saturday night. Stepp, who received an offer from the Irish in February, did not compete in the event due to a nagging hamstring injury that he said isn’t serious.

Stepp had already proved to be a talented running back in his sophomore season at Cathedral High School where he teams with fellow Irish commit Pete Werner, a 2017 linebacker. Stepp rushed for 1,295 yards and 155 carries and scored 17 touchdowns.

“He's the best running back in Indiana, there's no doubt about that,” said CBS Sports Network recruiting analyst Tom Lemming. “He's fast. He has great vision and he's really strong in his legs and has a good pair of hands. He's a good all-around back. He fits perfectly in Notre Dame's spread offense."

247Sports slates Stepp as a four-star recruit and the No. 12 running back in the 2018 class. Notre Dame beat out the likes of Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Wisconsin and Duke in Stepp’s recruitment.

"Notre Dame's a very special place,” Stepp said. “Academically, spiritually and athletically it's perfect. I don't see how you can get any better than Notre Dame. Even if football doesn't work out, you still have that résumé that you went to Notre Dame. That résumé will carry you a long way when people see it."

The recruitment of Stepp counts as another win for recruiting coordinator Mike Elston, who recruits in Indiana for the Irish, and running backs coach Autry Denson, who added a pair of commitments from his recruiting area in Florida over the weekend as well.

“I built a great relationship with them,” Stepp said of Elston and Denson. “They talk about life and football and what they think I can achieve at Notre Dame."

Defensive end Jonathon MacCollister and wide receiver Jordan Pouncey also became members of Notre Dame’s 2017 recruiting class on Friday and Saturday. Stepp joins quarterback Phil Jurkovec as the only two players committed to Notre Dame’s 2018 class.

But the newest Notre Dame commit is ready to get some more players to join him.

"I've already been talking to (running back) Jaelen Gill, (cornerback) Houston Griffith and (defensive end) Malik Vann,” Stepp said. “If we get those three guys in the 2018 class, we'll be the best in the nation. We can conquer the whole 2018 class.”

Below are sophomore highlights of Stepp via Hudl.

Here Come The Irish #WeAreNDpic.twitter.com/4vyiC4JBsk

— Markese Stepp (@markese_stepp) June 19, 2016

Amari Carter, from left, Isaiah Robertson, Houston Griffith, Pete Werner, Markese Stepp talk to Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly during the Irish Invasion at Notre Dame Stadium Saturday, June 18, 2016. ND Insider Photo/MICHAEL CATERINA