Notre Dame continues hot streak with commitment of four-star 2018 LB Jack Lamb

Mike Vorel
South Bend Tribune

Notre Dame's football program recruits from coast to coast.

Of course, a casual fan might not have known that after glancing at the team's 2018 commitment list.

Until now.

On Thursday night, Jack Lamb — a 6-foot-4, 207-pound linebacker from Temecula, Calif. — announced his verbal commitment to Notre Dame, giving the Irish their first 2018 commit west of Illinois.

"While this decision was a very difficult one for me to make, it has become very clear to me which opportunity was the best in order to achieve my dreams," Lamb tweeted. "My family has taught me that if you want to be great at something, you have to make yourself uncomfortable. It is my goal one day to be a great football player, a great student, and a great contributor to my community.

"Getting out of my comfort zone means moving to a new place, seeing new things, and being challenged in ways I have yet to be challenged. In an effort to accomplish my goals and to begin a new chapter in my life I have selected the University of Notre Dame as my future home."

Lamb's commitment is certainly noteworthy because of its geographical implications; California is and has always been a valuable recruiting ground for the Irish, and snaring one of the state's top defenders brings with it some valuable momentum.

“Notre Dame has always had a great impact in southern California," said CBS Sports Network recruiting analyst Tom Lemming. "This is good to get one now, because they’ve struggled there in the recent past."

And, speaking of momentum, the Irish will have plenty of it when fall camp opens on Tuesday. Three 2018 prospects — three-star running back Jahmir Smith, four-star rover Shayne Simon and the aforementioned Lamb — have committed to the program this week alone.

As of Thursday night, Notre Dame's 2018 class has 15 verbal commits, ranking ninth nationally by Rivals and 10th by 247Sports.

“Right now Notre Dame is on their way. They’re having a terrific year," Lemming said. "They have to keep it going, and if (the team) gets off to a really good start, they’re going to start landing more top players. Now everybody’s waiting to see how they do.”

But the Lamb commitment is also important for more fundamental reasons:

1.) Talent, and

2.) Potential.

“He’s got the length, the quick feet, the long arms, and he’s going to keep getting bigger and stronger," Lemming said. "He could be 240 (pounds) in another year. But he plays fast. He was all-league and all-area.

"When I saw him, UCLA was the school (for him). So Notre Dame has done a really good job of getting him. He’s looked good at camps. He looks better at camps than he does on the film, but I think he’s going to develop. He’s a good catch for Notre Dame.”

That's a consensus four-star catch, to be exact. Lamb is ranked as the No. 4 inside linebacker in the country and the No. 97 overall prospect in the 2018 class by Rivals, as well as the No. 7 inside linebacker and the No. 147 overall recruit by 247Sports.

Lamb — whose parents attended Penn State — chose the Irish over scholarship offers from the likes of UCLA, Penn State, Arizona, Arizona State, Baylor, California, Louisville, Oklahoma, Oregon, TCU, Washington and more.

The Great Oak High School standout joins fellow linebackers Ovie Oghoufo and Bo Bauer in Notre Dame's 2018 class. And while Lamb had further to travel when he made his only visit to South Bend on June 23, the trip did more than pique his interest.

It ultimately helped convince him to leave his home state behind.

“I saw everything I needed to when I was there,” Lamb told the Tribune at The Opening Finals earlier this month. “I really enjoyed the visit. It exceeded my expectations. They left a really good impression on me."

God. Country. Notre Dame. ☘️☘️☘️ 110% Committed #IrishBouND18#GoIrishpic.twitter.com/BqGFhtNePm

— jack lamb (@JackLamb_) July 28, 2017

Lets goooo!!! ☘️☘️congrats bro!!! https://t.co/KWhELBbJye

— Jayson k. Ademilola (@jaysonademilola) July 28, 2017

This week keeps getting better!!! Welcome to the fam !! #IrishBounND18https://t.co/oFHIRSPJTI

— Markese Stepp (@markese_stepp) July 28, 2017

#WeAreND

— Brian Kelly (@CoachBrianKelly) July 28, 2017

#irishbouND18pic.twitter.com/dJqCPX8rD2

— Aaryn Kearney (@kearney_ak) July 28, 2017

Them D-Boys got it like ! What a week for the Irish! Who's Next !! #irishbouND18#FightClub19 Bringing greatness back to South Bend!

— Coach Mike Elko (@CoachMikeElko) July 28, 2017

@JackLamb_ welcome bro

— #55GoLive (@Jamion_Franklin) July 28, 2017

Like I said when I jumped in his interview @ the opening @JackLamb_ to the Irish

— #55GoLive (@Jamion_Franklin) July 28, 2017

CONGRATS BRUH. National champ team coming together https://t.co/twYTeFtrGY

— Micah Jones (@mej2018) July 28, 2017

LBU has arrived. ☘️

— Ovie Oghoufo (@OvieOghoufo) July 28, 2017