Irish land their 2018 QB in blue-chipper Phil Jurkovec

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Notre Dame landed their quarterback of the (kind-of-distant) future in Pennsylvania prospect Phil Jurkovec. One of the top passers in the 2018 recruiting cycle, Jurkovec pledged to the Irish on Monday, ending his recruitment well ahead of schedule—kick-starting the 2018 recruiting class with one of the biggest commitments offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Mike Sanford has landed.

Jurkovec, whose sterling sophomore season landed him offers from Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Penn State UCLA and more, was a priority target for Sanford and head coach Brian Kelly. Per the South Bend Tribune’s Tyler James, he was the only quarterback Notre Dame offered, a gamble that paid off on Monday when Jurkovec committed.

Ranked 247’s top dual-threat quarterback in the class of 2018, Jurkovec’s toolbox is filled with interesting skills. At 6-foot-5, he has the height you want in a passer and a live arm to match. He also showed more than capable legs, running for 1,250 yards and 11 touchdowns for his Pine-Richland High School.

Already invited to the U.S. Army All-American game, Jurkovec has the makings of a five-star recruit, though he’s still two full seasons from reaching college. So while there’s every reason to look at this as a huge recruiting win—and make no mistake, it is one—it’s a relationship that the Irish coaching staff will need to work hard to keep, a recruitment that won’t be done until Jurkovec is on campus or signed his letter of intent.

But don’t tell that to Jurkovec. He sounded like a mature kid who checked off all the boxes before making the decision.

“I have really thought about it for a long time and it’s not a rash decision. I have gone over all the different aspects that I want in a school and Notre Dame fits them all,” Jurkovec told Rivals.com.

The Gibsonia, PA native is the first member of the 2018 recruiting class. He joins the 10-man 2017 class (with quarterback Avery Davis already committed) as pledges to Brian Kelly.