RB recruit Markese Stepp decommits from Notre Dame's 2018 class

Eric Hansen
South Bend Tribune

One of the nation’s top running teams in 2017 lost one of its future running back prospects on Saturday.

Notre Dame recruit Markese Stepp announced on Twitter that he is reopening his recruitment roughly 18 months after committing to the Irish football program in the first place.

The 6-foot, 210-pound senior from Indianapolis Cathedral High is rated as a four-star recruit by both Rivals and 247Sports. Rivals rates him as the nation’s No. 8 running back in the 2018 class and the No. 231 prospect regardless of position.

247Sports has him as the No. 11 running back and No. 244 overall.

Stepp battled hamstring problems throughout his senior season, which ended with a 42-13 loss last month to Columbus East in the Indiana Class 5-A state semifinals.

"First, I want to give the upmost thanks to God for every ability and opportunity that he has blessed me with,” he wrote on his Twitter account. “After discussions with my family, I have decided to reopen my recruitment.

“I will not be taking any interviews or questions at this time. Please respect my decision. I would like to thank Coach (Brian) Kelly, Coach (Autry) Denson, Coach (Mike) Elston and the entire Notre Dame family, especially #IrishBouND18, for believing in me. Please allow my family and I privacy during this time as we focus on my future."

The Irish currently have 18 commitments, 15 of whom are expected to sign during the new early period (Dec. 20-22). That group includes running back Jahmir Smith, a 5-11, 198-pound senior from Lee County High School in Sanford, N.C.

None of Notre Dame’s current group of five running backs have expiring eligibility, though it’s uncertain whether leading rusher, junior Josh Adams, will return to ND in 2018 or enter the 2018 NFL Draft.

The other running backs on the roster are junior Dexter Williams, sophomores Tony Jones Jr. and Deon McIntosh, and freshman C.J. Holmes. The Irish finished the regular season as the nation’s No. 7 rushing team.

Markese Stepp walks around campus before the University of Southern California at Notre Dame ootball game, Oct. 21 at Notre Dame Stadium. (Tribune Photo/MICHAEL CATERINA)