For the second time in a week, Notre Dame’s recruiting class landed a playmaking linebacker. During a press conference streamed live on ESPN.com, Florida’s Tevon Coney pledged his commitment to the Irish, picking Notre Dame over finalists Miami and Florida.
“For the next four years, I’ll be playing at the University of Notre Dame,” Coney said during his announcement at Palm Beach Gardens High School.
The 6-foot-1, 222-pounder is a four-star recruit with other offers from Ohio State, Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and other top programs. Coney first visited campus during the Irish Invasion in June, with recruiting coordinator Tony Alford working hard to get the Palm Beach native and his father to campus over the summer.
Coney returned for an official visit on Michigan weekend, there to see the Irish defense shutout the Wolverines for the first time in history. After taking official visits to Florida and Miami, Coney plans on early enrolling in January, joining the team in time for spring practice.
Most believed the battle for Coney came down to Florida and Notre Dame. With the Gators looking in a bit of disarray with Will Muschamp likely nearing the end of his tenure as head coach, Coney acknowledged the push-and-pull between staying in Florida and playing for a team he long saw himself playing for and Notre Dame.
“One day, I feel like I should go to this school and one day, I feel like I should go to that school,” Coney told the Sun-Sentinel. “I’m still trying to decide where I want to go and what school I should feel comfortable with and where I want to get my degree. I want to make the right decision.”
The decision to pick Notre Dame closes the linebacker group with a very good playmaker. Joining Asmar Bilal and Josh Barajas, Brian VanGorder’s first recruiting cycle at Notre Dame gives you an idea of the type of athlete the Irish are targeting at linebacker, with all three very early targets for the coaching staff.
A look at Coney’s highlight reel shows you an aggressive linebacker who loves to blitz. He’s viewed as the top player in Palm Beach County, a talent-rich part of the country for high school football.
Coney is the 21st member of Notre Dame’s recruiting class, a group that’s now a top-ten class in both Rivals and 247’s estimations.