Notre Dame plucks four-star wide receiver Lorenzo Styles Jr. out of Ohio State's backyard

Carter Karels
South Bend Tribune

USC was not the only team Notre Dame beat this weekend.

Georgia and Ohio State lost 2021 recruits from their backyard to the Irish in four-star wide receivers Deion Colzie and Lorenzo Styles Jr., respectively. Colzie attended the same school as the children of Georgia head coach Kirby Smart at Athens (Ga.) Academy. He announced his decision on Saturday.  

Styles followed Colzie's lead on Sunday, becoming the seventh pledge in Notre Dame’s 2021 recruiting class. The Pickerington (Ohio) Central product lives about 15 miles from Ohio State. His father, Lorenzo Styles Sr., played for the Buckeyes as a linebacker before spending a few years in the NFL.

“I really felt like Notre Dame brought the best of both worlds on the field as well as off,” Styles told the Tribune. “I just really wanted to create my college experience outside of the state of Ohio. I really just wanted to go elsewhere.

"I like what Notre Dame had to offer, and I didn’t want to stay home.”

“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”


— gozozogo (@LorenzoStyles3) October 13, 2019

Rivals pegs Styles as its No. 4 wide receiver and No. 28 overall player in its 2021 recruiting class, while 247Sports ranks him No. 18 at the position and No. 120 overall. He also accrued scholarship offers from Michigan, Penn State, Florida, Auburn and others.

The Irish landing Colzie and the 6-foot-1, 170-pound Styles required a handful of visits to South Bend and a pursuit lasting at least a couple years. Styles officially garnered his Irish scholarship offer on June 17, 2018. Notre Dame received both commitments during their visits for the USC game.

The commitments from Colzie and Styles boosted Notre Dame’s 2021 class to No. 1 nationally at Rivals. 247Sports still ranks the class at No. 3 overall.

“Getting a kid from Columbus that Ohio State offered is amazing,” said Tom Lemming, a recruiting analyst for CBS Sports Network. “It could mean to me that Notre Dame is on the way to being among the elite. Which would be the group of five: Georgia, Alabama, Clemson, LSU and Ohio State.”

Only three wide receivers to sign with Notre Dame under head coach Brian Kelly have been ranked among the top 112 overall players in their recruiting class by both 247Sports and Rivals: Davonte Neal (2012), Justin Brent (2014) and Javon McKinley (2016).

Notre Dame commit Jordan Johnson out of the 2020 class is likely to become the fourth. He’s a five-star wide receiver per Rivals. Colzie and Styles could potentially achieve that distinction as well. Both plan to enroll early. 

“I feel like a lot of the big programs are similar in a way,” Styles said, “but Notre Dame especially has the tradition. You just feel that when you are on the campus.”

Pickerington (Ohio) Central's Lorenzo Styles Jr., a 2021 wide receiver, committed to Notre Dame on Oct. 13, 2019.