4-star athlete draws praise from Hall of Famer at Notre Dame Football Camp

Jakob Weatherspoon impresses at Notre Dame camp, earns offer. Larry Fitzgerald praises his skills. Irish join Ohio State & Michigan in pursuit.
Chris Day/The Commercial Appeal / USA

When 4-star athlete Jakob Weatherspoon went to Notre Dame football’s camp last week, he didn’t enter with an offer. But he sure exited with one. And in hindsight, it’s rather surprising it took a trip to an evaluation camp to get the Irish to really recruit the athlete.

Weatherspoon, who On3 considers the No. 174 overall player and No. 9 prospect in Ohio in the 2026 class, was one of four prospects to pick up a Fighting Irish offer following the evaluation camp. And while getting an offer from Marcus Freeman and company was a big deal, there were other things that happened during that camp that really stood out from the crowd.

Notre Dame football target goes up against Hall of Famer’s son 

The 5-foot-11, 173-pounder had some seriously tough workouts. In fact, one of those workouts was having to cover 2026 wide receiver prospect Devin Fitzgerald. Devin just happens to be the son of NFL great Larry Fitzgerald.

The Hall of Famer was in attendance, watching his son work out and while he was almost certainly proud of Devin, the NFL great was also impressed by Weatherspoon. 

“(Larry Fitzgerald) was getting me a lot of love, actually,” Weatherspoon told Blue & Gold. “After the first rep, I asked for a roller from the trainer. She sat me down because she didn’t want me to cramp up. He came over and said, ‘You’re not done yet, are you? We need more people like you. I love the way you play, buddy.’”

Imagine being the 4-star athlete, getting an offer from the Irish and then having Larry Fitzgerald tell you he loves the way you play. Clearly, the Fighting Irish coaches felt the same.

Now that Weatherspoon has an offer from the Notre Dame football team, they’ll have to fight Ohio State, Michigan and other schools for his pledge. But he liked what he saw and was told when he was in South Bend. Stay tuned for this fight.