2018 LB Dallas Gant plans to keep track of Notre Dame

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Dallas Gant saw Notre Dame’s defensive struggles with his own eyes.

The junior linebacker recruit from Toledo, Ohio, attended Saturday’s game against Michigan State as the Irish allowed 501 yards of offense. He also watched on TV as Notre Dame lost to Texas to start the season.

The results, Gant said, have been surprising.

“I’m sure they’ll figure things out by the end of the season,” Gant said. “We’ll see how it goes from here.”

Unfortunately for Notre Dame, that means Gant will have to make an effort to keep track of how the Irish defense evolves over the season. A dominating performance could have lessened that need.

Nevertheless, Gant said he was impressed by how Notre Dame fought back from a 36-7 deficit.

“They were down by quite a bit and they never laid down and put up the white flag,” Gant said. “They just kept fighting, which I thought was pretty cool to see. They’re both obviously really good teams, really tough teams. Overall, I thought it was a great game.”

The 6-foot-3, 208-pound Gant has both Notre Dame and Michigan State on an offer list that also includes Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Penn State and Boston College. Gant attended last year’s Notre Dame-UMass game, but he said the environment on Saturday night felt different.

“The fans were going crazy,” Gant said, “and it was a great atmosphere to play in.”

Gant, a four-star recruit, received a Notre Dame offer following his performance at the Irish Invasion. 247Sports slates him as the No. 2 outside linebacker in the 2018 class. Rivals ranks him 13th at the position.

Recruiting coordinator and linebackers coach Mike Elston has established Notre Dame’s connection with Gant. The Irish already have two linebackers committed in the 2018 class (Ovie Oghoufo and Bo Bauer), but Elston has made Gant a priority.

“He’s a great a guy,” Gant said. “I’ve gotten to know him a lot since Sept. 1. I’ve called him a lot of times and talked to him a lot. We’re building a pretty good relationship.”

The next game on Gant’s travel itinerary is Ohio State at Penn State on Oct. 22. Visits elsewhere could pop up before and after that.

As the Irish try to rectify their defensive issues, they will have to hope Gant doesn’t lose track of them. He said a couple of poor games likely won’t affect his opinion.

“I don’t think so, because it will probably be different by the time I get there,” Gant said. “I don’t think the defense will start the same way in two years. It doesn’t really affect my decision at all.

“I like watching them play, and I look forward to seeing how they develop as the year goes on. I want to see how they improve, how the coaches coach and how the coaches handle it.”

Saturday night could have been Notre Dame’s prove-it moment for Gant. Now he’s waiting for another.

What 5 years will do to ya

— Dallas Gant (@dallas_gant) September 18, 2016


Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Linebacker Dallas Gant, a 2018 target, attended Notre Dame's 36-28 loss to Michigan State on Sept. 17, 2016. (Tribune photo/Jared Hamsher)