Anthony Rabasa (Miami, Fla./Columbus) didn’t need a week following his Thursday visit to Notre Dame, to decide the Irish program was the right one for him.
“Just a few hours,” the 6-foot-3, 235-pound outside linebacker/defensive end prospect laughed. Following his first-ever trip to South Bend, Rabasa originally told ISD he wanted to take at least a week to think about things before making his college decision.
“I felt like it was the right place and time for me, and I didn’t want to hold back anymore.”
On Friday, the four-star Rabasa became the 14th-player to pledge to Notre Dame’s recruiting class-of-2011, and the second of the day, joining four-star running back Justice Hayes (Grand Blanc, Mich./Grand Blanc.). He chose the Irish over his other finalists, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Miami and UCLA.
“What I love the most about them, is the tradition of the school,” Rabasa said. “The perks that come with getting a degree from Notre Dame, opens so many doors. It’s unreal. If you say you go to Notre Dame, everyone is going to be shocked. If you say you play ball for Notre Dame, everyone is going to be shocked.
“This is unbelievable, and something I couldn’t let go.”
As a junior, Rabasa had 80 tackles and 10 sacks. ESPNU’s Scouts Inc. ranks him as the 10th-best defensive end in the country, and 99th-best prospect overall. When he met with defensive coordinator Bob Diaco, he was told with his body type, he’ll likely play the CAT backer position in the Irish’s 3-4 defense.
Besides his favorites, Rabasa held roughly 30 scholarship offers from the likes of Cincinnati, Maryland, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Florida, Texas Tech and Wake Forest.
“Out of all the schools I visited, this is the place I wanted to be,” Rabasa said. “I fell in love with Notre Dame.”
Rabasa was very excited to tell his recruiter Mike Elston, and he also got a chance to catch up with his future head coach Brian Kelly for the first time.
“Coach Kelly was very excited. It was the first time I got a chance to talk to coach Kelly because he was out of the office yesterday. We talked, and he was very excited. He welcomed me to the Notre Dame family. He told me everything that comes with it, and how excited he was. He said he looks forward to meeting me in the future, and said he’ll talk with me and my parents again sometime this week.”