Jan 4, 2012, 12:02 AM EDT
The final score for the first annual Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl was the West edging the East 17-14 in the latest national All-Star game to capture recruitniks attention. But the biggest headline leaving Phoenix wasn’t any play made on the field, but rather a recruiting victory all but finalized by Notre Dame.
Cornerback Tee Shepard, who sent shockwaves through the recruiting world when it was reported he’d allegedly pick either Notre Dame or USC from a hat to make his final college decision, unequivocally finalized where he’s enrolling for the spring semester.
“I’m 100-percent committed to Notre Dame, I fly out tomorrow night and enroll,” Shepard told Justin Hopkins of 247Sports. “That isn’t changing.”
Bob Weineke of the South Bend Tribune, who is in Arizona covering the game, caught up with Shepard after the game, to try and put an end to one of the more seesaw final months of a recruiting battle we’ve seen this year, for a cornerback that’ll come in and immediately challenge for playing time with Gary Gray and Robert Blanton departing.
“There was a rumor out there that I had committed to ‘SC,” Shepard to Weineke. “I just want to let the world know that I’m going to ND. “I just wanted to go on TV so everybody could know.”
Of course, Irish fans likely won’t feel safe about Shepard’s recruitment until Shepard is enrolled in classes and locked into his commitment. But closing Tee’s commitment also likely finalizes his cousin Deontay Greenberry‘s pledge to the Irish, with the blue-chip wide receiver the offense’s most important recruit and seemingly the one that kept the seas calm when it appeared USC had his cousin’s ear.
The Irish coaching staff will mobilize Wednesday, back on the road recruiting as the staff comes down the home stretch before Signing Day early February.