An offer from Notre Dame can drastically change the tone of a recruitment, just ask 4-star safety recruit Darius West.
According to Jared Shanker of ESPN.com, West, from Lima, OH, had previously whittled down his top four list to Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State and Wisconsin, and he was planning on making a decision last Thursday. Shaker reports that it appeared as if West was leaning towards Kentucky, but he ended up canceling his news conference and was offered by Notre Dame the very next day. Here's what he had to say about the offer, per Shanker:
“Academic wise, you’re guaranteed a great job after you graduate,” West said. “Then, you have a great chance to go to the NFL, play for a good head coach, and they played in the national championship, which means a lot too. They couldn’t get it done against Alabama, but they still made it.”
It appears as if West canceled his decision in an effort to gain a few more offers, and that worked out in a big way for the safety recruit. Notre Dame is a marquee college football program, and Brian Kelly and his staff still have a contender on their hands.
Despite the huge loss to Alabama in last year's BCS National Championship, the Fighting Irish are still a talented program. Kelly's 2013 class was elite, and even though there is confusion surrounding 5-star defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes' commitment, according to Joe Davidson of sacbee.com, there are still a handful of huge play-makers that will emerge.
Malik Zaire appears to be the future quarterback for Notre Dame, and 5-star outside linebacker Jaylon Smith and 5-star safety Max Redfield both have superstar potential. Cole Luke is going to be a great cornerback, and Greg Bryant has the potential to be one of the best running backs in the nation.
Will West eventually commit to ND?
Notre Dame will be just fine, and Kelly and his staff will find ways to plug players in and remain a contender.
There's a lot to like, and obviously West can see that potential as well. Soon after his offer from Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish are now one of five teams on his 247Sports interest list.
Nine of 19 experts in his 247Sports Crystal Ball already believe he will commit to the Fighting Irish.
Shanker also reports that West is planning on visiting South Bend on June 20th.
That's what an offer from Notre Dame can do.