Notre Dame’s impressive 2015 season is helping the Irish coaching staff recruit not just for this February’s signing class, but the next one as well. On Sunday night, Notre Dame landed one of Georgia’s best prospects, defensive end Robert Beal.
Beal had offers from Florida State, Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State, but decided he’ll play his college football in South Bend, giving the Irish a traditional pass rusher that’s been difficult to land.
While the news broke late Sunday, Beal took to Twitter on Monday morning to confirm the news:
Beal hails from Georgia, a state that Notre Dame has taken great strides to recruit. But along with a summer visit and a chance to watch each week on Showtime, Beal’s family connections to the South Bend area made this feel like a great fit.
From Rivals’ Woody Womack, who caught up with the four-star prospect:
The commitment comes as somewhat of a surprise, but Beal’s family ties to the school combined with his love for the program made him feel like the timing was right.
“I went up there in the summer time and I just got that feeling like it was the place for me,” Beal said. “I was in the recruiting center and they were showing me the graduation rates and what guys have gone on to do outside of football and I was really impressed.”
Beal’s grandmother worked on campus at Notre Dame and mother grew up in the South Bend area. Beal said he considers Indiana to be like his second home and is excited to play for the Irish.
“I didn’t really become a fan until my first trip up there my freshman year,” Beal said. “On that trip I met the coaches and our relationship has grown ever since until now and now I’m a Notre Dame commit.”
With the 2016 class already up to 17 commitments, the 2017 class is off to a fast start as well. The Irish hand-picked offensive linemen Josh Lugg and Dillan Gibbons. They’ve landed two top tight end prospects as well in Cole Kmet and Brock Wright. Now Beal adds an edge rusher to the stockpile, still 15 months away from signing day.
Here’s a highlight tape from Beal’s sophomore season in 2014.