Elijah Burns didn’t feel he needed to see Notre Dame to decide it was the place for him. The 2015 New Jersey power forward announced his commitment to the Irish on Saturday before ever visiting South Bend.
“I had a really good feeling about the school,” said the 6-foot-8, 220-pounder from Blair Academy in Blairstown, N.J.
“My family felt me committing to Notre Dame would be a really good fit academically and basketball-wise. It combines great academics with great basketball, so that’s why I committed to Notre Dame. I also have a great relationship with the coaches.”
Burns, who chose the Irish over offers from schools like Boston College, Rhode Island, Seton Hall and Temple among others, will get the chance to check out South Bend for the first time when he takes an official visit the first weekend of September.
“I just want to see the campus life,” said Burns. “At some point, I’m not going to be in the gym and there are going to be times when I’m not with everybody else who are regular students and other athletes.
“I just want to see how everyone interacts, the city around the campus and meeting some of the teachers.”
Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey and assistant coach Anthony Solomon played a big role in landing Burns. He expects to come in as a power forward, but doesn’t believe he’ll be limited to playing on the block.
“I think I’m going to play the 4, but I’m just going to be a player for them,” he said. “I’m going to do a lot of different things and continue to be versatile.”
Burns helped Blair Academy win its third Prep A state title in the last six years this past season.
“I think another thing I bring that’s really big is my work ethic,” he said. “I have a really hard work ethic, I’m a great teammate on and off the court and I know how to win now. We win at my high school and I’m going to bring a winning attitude.”
Burns is also excited about joining his AAU teammate and friend Matt Ryan at Notre Dame. Ryan committed to the Irish a week before Burns.
“It’s kind of cool,” said Burns. “It’s pretty exciting. We’ve known each other for over a year now. It’s pretty cool that I’m going to college with one of my friends and it’s going to be fun.”
Burns is relieved to have the recruiting process behind him.
“It’s really good. Now that the recruiting is over, I can continue to play the rest of the summer, have a good time and enjoy it.”