Jan 4, 2014, 6:43 PM EDT
Notre Dame received a key recruiting pledge when inside linebacker Nyles Morgan committed to the Irish during the US Army All-American Bowl Saturday afternoon. The Chicagoland product is an elite, four-star player anchoring a position group that the Irish coaching staff targeted this cycle.
Morgan chose the Irish over Ole Miss and Vanderbilt, a hard fought recruiting victory for a player that for a long time looked headed elsewhere. The consensus top five inside linebacker in the country should step onto campus and fight for a starting job.
“They do need a mike linebacker, so I’m going to come in and fill that role,” Morgan said live on NBC during his announcement.
Starring at Crete-Monee, Morgan was a first-team All-State player. He’s joined on the Chicago Tribune’s All-State first team by fellow linebacker Nile Sykes of Montini and Nic Weishar of Marist. Weishar was playing alongside Morgan on the West squad.
Notre Dame pushes their recruiting class to 23 official members with Morgan’s commitment, though Isaiah McKenzie could make that 24 as soon as he clears up some final academic work.
With the Irish roster turning over Carlo Calabrese, Dan Fox, Prince Shembo and Danny Spond, all linebackers with starting experience, it was crucial to fill those holes in this recruiting class. After a slow start, the Irish will bring in Greer Martini, Morgan, Sykes, and Richard Yeargin, not to mention combination edge players like Jonathan Bonner, Andrew Trumbetti and Jhonathan Williams.
National Signing Day is February 5.