- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
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Toledo (Ohio) Central Catholic quarterback DeShone Kizer said last week that Notre Dame exceeded the criteria he was looking for in a school. When Notre Dame offered a few days later on June 5, the Irish immediately jumped into his top group.
Following a weekend visit to South Bend, the 6-foot-5, 208-pound signal-caller, the No. 6 ranked dual-threat quarterbacks nationally, committed to Notre Dame. Central Catholic coach Greg Dempsey confirmed the commitment of his four-star and Elite 11 quarterback.
Alabama and LSU were considered the top two for Kizer before the Notre Dame offer, with Tennessee just behind its SEC counterparts. Kizer was planning visits to both the Tide and Tigers later this week. The offer from Alabama was not a committable one.
This commitment is welcomed news for Notre Dame, which has not had much positivity around the position the last few weeks. Everett Golson, who led the Irish to the national championship game last season, was suspended from school in late May. A few days later, ESPN 150 quarterback Kyle Allen, who many felt could end up signing with Notre Dame, pledged to Texas A&M.
Former backup quarterback Gunner Kiel, a member of the ESPN 150 in 2012, left the program this spring as well.
Ohio has been kind to the Irish the past two recruiting classes. In the 2013 class, Malik Zaire of Kettering (Ohio) Archbishop Alter signed with the Irish and enrolled in January.
Later this month, Kizer will compete at the Elite 11 finals after taking top honors in a regional event in Columbus, Ohio, on June 1. LSU coaches Les Miles and Cam Cameron watched Kizer at the event.
Kizer is the 11th commitment in the Irish’s 2014 class and is the latest piece to what is becoming a stellar offensive haul. Four-star running back Elijah Hood and four-star offensive tackle Alex Bars are both members of the ESPN 150, and Sam Mustipher (No. 11 guard), Justin Brent (No. 38 receiver) and Quenton Nelson (No. 19 guard) are also four-star recruits. Three-star offensive tackle Jimmy Byrne is also committed.
Notre Dame’s class ranks No. 8 nationally but could move up with Kizer’s commitment.
5dSam Khan Jr.