Q&A: 2018 DE target Malik Vann

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

ND Insider caught up with 2018 defensive end Malik Vann after visiting for the Irish Invasion. Vann received a Notre Dame offer while attending the Blue-Gold Game in April.

• DE MALIK VANN, 6-2, 249; FAIRFIELD (OHIO) HIGH.

247Sports ranking: Four stars, No. 8 strongside defensive end.

ND Insider: What did you think of your Notre Dame visit?

Vann: “It was better than my last one because this time I got to experience a full campus tour and I got to be around the players more. I really enjoyed it.”

NDI: How does it compare to other campuses you’ve visited?

Vann: “It’s the smallest campus I’ve been on, but it’s also one of the prettiest campuses I’ve been to.”

NDI: How much time did you get to talk to the coaching staff?

Vann: “During the Irish Invasion, I talked to (head) coach (Brian) Kelly. I was able to talk to the others the rest of the day I was up there. The day before that, I was with (linebackers) coach (Mike) Elston and (defensive coordinator) coach (Brian) VanGorder.”

NDI: What were the conversations like with coach Elston and coach VanGorder?

Vann: “Just seeing how I would fit within the program — the defense they run, the players they’re losing. And we had a normal conversation that sometimes wasn’t football related.”

NDI: What was it like watching the camp?

Vann: “It was cool seeing how (defensive line) coach (Keith) Gilmore and coach Elston would coach you. Coach Gilmore is an honest coach. He’s a real cool coach. He doesn’t get too angry or too upset at things. He treats you how you want to be treated. He’s not going to wear you down and not help you get back up. Coach Elston, I liked him a lot as a coach. Seeing how he ran his drills, I really liked it.”

NDI: After 2018 running back Markese Stepp committed to Notre Dame the other day, he told me he’s coming after you. Have you heard a lot from Markese?

Vann: “Definitely. Even before he committed. When I first got my Notre Dame offer, he was texting me that I need to join the Irish.”

NDI: Do you plan to return to Notre Dame for a game in the fall?

Vann: “Yeah, I want to go to the Michigan State game. I was looking at hotel prices and they’re like $350 a night.”

NDI: When you’re going through the recruiting process, what are the most important aspects for you?

Vann: “Seeing the campus as a whole, how comfortable I feel up there, looking at the academics and the graduation success.”

NDI: You have a lot of time until you have to make a decision, but do you have an idea of when you want to make one?

Vann: “Probably by the beginning of my senior year or the end of my junior year. But if I make a few trips and don’t like certain places, then it will probably come sooner than that.”

Defensive end Malik Vann, a 2018 recruit, will make his second visit to Notre Dame in June for the Irish Invasion. (Photo courtesy of Student Sports)