Just hours after receiving a scholarship offer from Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly, three-star running back Cam McDaniel called Kelly to inform him of his committment to play for the Irish, according to Irish Illustrated. Kelly visited Coppell to offer both McDaniel and his teammate, cornerback Bennett Okotcha, scholarships.
McDaniel has received scholarship offers from Air Force, Cincinnati, Colorado, Iowa, Iowa State, Minnesota, Stanford, Texas Tech and Tulsa. As a junior at Coppell High School in Texas, McDaniel ran for 1,210 yards and 20 touchdowns. He also caught 57 passes for 596 yards and seven touchdowns. McDaniel, five-feet, 11-inches and 192 pounds, is a shifty back who runs a 4.53 40-yard dash.
Initially, there was talk of moving McDaniel to the slot because of his strong hands, but Kelly assured McDaniel he’d be in the backfield to begin his career. (Irish Illustrated)
“(Kelly) said, ‘I feel like you can catch balls out of the backfield and you can split out in the slot but you’re a running back. I’m not looking for you to go play slot receiver. I’m looking at you to come play running back,’” McDaniel said. “I was just extremely impressed with that and the way he was straight forward and honest. Then he kind of told us what his program was all about and how he was wanting to restore the legacy of Notre Dame. I was all in.”
Okotcha, a three-star recruit himself, has already verbally committed to Wisconsin, but seems to be seriously considering Notre Dame. He intends to schedule an official visit to South Bend when his his season ends.
“I definitely have to think about it,” Okotcha said, “because whenever you get an offer from any big school, especially a school like Notre Dame, you definitely have to think about it, compare the schools and think about what’s best for you and where you fit in.
“Notre Dame wasn’t in the process whenever I committed to Wisconsin. That’s not to say I’m gonna de-commit from Wisconsin. They just weren’t in the thought process when I was picking my colleges at that time.”
It helps that Kelly received a commitment from McDaniel on Monday afternoon.
“It definitely helps that Cam decided to go there,” Okotcha said. “He’s one of my best friends. Of course, when you have any friend that goes to the same college as you it’s gonna make things a lot easier. When it’s your best friend it’s a big deal.”
In related news, Irish Illustrated also reports that Shane Ray, a three-star outside linebacker from Shawnee Mission, Kan., has received a scholarship offer from Coach Kelly. Ray is already committed to play at Missouri, where his father played ball. However, Ray’s high school coach, Tim Grunhard, is a former Irish offensive lineman and there seems to be a good chance Ray will at least take an official visit to South Bend. Ray is six-feet, four-inches and 221 pounds, ranked 15th nationally at his position by Rivals.