CB Kalon Gervin bucked trend in committing to Notre Dame

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Kalon Gervin isn’t afraid to speak in certainties.

He does not lack confidence in his skills as a football player, and he stands by his decisions.

So it’s no surprise that when the four-star cornerback recruit reflects on his commitment to Notre Dame, he discusses it as if it was an unavoidable event.

“I knew it before I went down there,” Gervin said of the February campus visit that resulted in his pledge to the Irish. “The thought kind of came in my head. ‘I’m thinking about committing.’ It was a thought at that time. But when I got there, I told my mom that I kinda knew I wanted to. I was thinking about it.

“She said, ‘OK.’ I said, ‘All right, let’s get it.’”

In landing Gervin, Notre Dame secured a significant victory in Detroit. The Irish have tried — and failed — to recruit players from Cass Tech multiple times during head coach Brian Kelly’s tenure. Typically, those recruits have ended up at Michigan or Michigan State.

But the 5-foot-11, 179-pound Gervin had no concerns about bucking the trend.

“Everybody’s saying, ‘I thought you were going to Michigan? You’re going to Michigan. You’re going to Michigan.’ I didn’t really listen,” Gervin said. “I’m just like, ‘All right, man. Whatever.’ But you gotta do your own thing. That’s really important. People don’t understand that.

“That’s what I tell the young dudes. Do what’s best for you. Don’t listen to no outsiders. Think about yourself first.”

When it comes to competing, Gervin tends to think of himself first as well. Earlier this month, Gervin received an invitation to The Opening Finals following a strong performance at The Opening Regional in Lake Forest, Ill. A 40-yard dash of 4.41 seconds certainly helped his cause.

Gervin came into the event hoping to prove himself as one of the top players in the country. He left with one of only 166 invitations to The Opening Finals for a gathering of the top football recruits in the country this summer.

“I feel like I prove that everywhere I go,” Gervin said. “People still say what they gotta say or whatever, or think what they gotta think. But I feel like I’m one of the best players in the country. (That day), I proved that.”

Gervin plans to hold Notre Dame to the same high standard. He may have committed following a 4-8 season, but he’s expecting to see a much better product on the field in 2017.

“They gotta come out and they gotta win,” Gervin said. “That’s really important. They gotta win. I believe they’re going to win. They’re working hard. Coach Kelly has been telling me they’re working a little harder. So everything’s smooth.”

That’s not to say that Notre Dame’s season will impact his commitment status. Gervin is confident in his pledge.

“There’s so much tradition. The tradition is crazy there. I love it there,” Gervin said. “That’s my home.”

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

Notre Dame cornerback commit Kalon Gervin received an invitation to The Opening Finals in April. (Tribune Photo/TYLER JAMES)