Former Notre Dame pledge Donovan Jeter makes quick commitment to Michigan

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Donovan Jeter didn't waste much time in finding a new future home.

The four-star defensive line recruit gave his verbal commitment to Michigan on Sunday — five days after dropping his pledge to Notre Dame. He shared the news on Twitter.

Jeter made an official visit to Ann Arbor this weekend to watch the unbeaten Wolverines defeat Illinois. It was only the second official visit Jeter has made. The first went to Notre Dame in September, which resulted in his original commitment to the Irish days later.

After dropping his Notre Dame commitment, Jeter pointed to the chance to visit other schools as a factor in his decision.

"I don't want Notre Dame fans to think I'm not coming back," Jeter wrote Tuesday on Twitter. "I wanna see other schools and I didn't wanna take other officials as a ND commit."

But the comments Jeter made to Mike White of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Sunday seem to wipe out any chance of a reunion with Notre Dame.

“I felt I committed (to Notre Dame) too early,” Jeter told the Post-Gazette. “I was so enamored with the place. I did it because I wanted to get the pressure and the stress off me.”

While singing the praises of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh to the Post-Gazette, Jeter also took a swipe at Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly.

“(Harbaugh) doesn’t act like he’s important,” Jeter said to the Post-Gazette. “He doesn’t act like he’s one of the best coaches in the country. He’s real down to earth and humble. He’s easy to talk to. Talking to Brian Kelly wasn’t fun. It wasn’t cool. You have to make an appointment just to go to his office. Coach Harbaugh has an open-door policy. Every one of Michigan’s coaches has an open-door policy.”

Recruits making official visits to Notre Dame typically have a schedule to follow for meals, tours and meetings with various coaches and university staff members. Jeter’s opinion on meetings with Kelly could only be based off his one visit to Notre Dame and/or conversations with someone else.

As a Notre Dame commit, Jeter showed public support for Kelly. On Sept. 27, he shared a pair of tweets going against the narrative that Kelly had thrown his team under the bus with comments made to reporters. Jeter said he saw a coach challenging his players “to be tougher and more passionate.”

Late Sunday night, Jeter tweeted an apology for his comments.

"I wanna apologize about the comments made about Brian Kelly.. he did nothing but offer me a chance to play great and get a great education," Jeter wrote. "At no time did I mean to disrespect coach Kelly or the team."

Without Jeter, Notre Dame is left with three defensive linemen in the 2017 class: four-star defensive tackle Darnell Ewell, three-star defensive tackle Kurt Hinish and three-star defensive end Jonathon MacCollister.

247Sports slates Jeter, a 6-foot-5, 260-pound product of Beaver Falls (Pa.) High, as the No. 8 strongside defensive end in the 2017 class. Rivals ranks him as the No. 14 defensive tackle.

Jeter plans to enroll early at Michigan for the spring semester. Notre Dame and Michigan are scheduled to play against each other in 2018 and 2019 in what would be Jeter's sophomore and junior seasons.

“I’m done,” he told the Post-Gazette. “I can’t put myself through this again.”


Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Four-star defensive lineman Donovan Jeter made a commitment to Michigan five days after dropping his pledge to Notre Dame. (Photo courtesy of Rivals)