Notre Dame was able to recruit a high-level player out of Las Vegas’ Bishop Gorman High School in 2012 when the Irish signed offensive lineman Ronnie Stanley. They’re going to try to do it again with 2014 running back Nathan Starks.
The 5-foot-11, 210-pounder has an early offer sheet that includes Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas, UCLA and Nebraska among others.
“He’s a great player obviously,” Bishop Gorman head coach Tony Sanchez said of Starks.
“There’s a lot of talent there, that’s why he’s being recruited at that high level. He’s definitely a dynamic player. He’s strong, powerful, explosive, all of those good things. As a young man, he’s a nice kid. He’s got a good demeanor and carries himself well. He’s really well liked by the teachers and the students.”
Starks played safety in a 7-on-7 tournament in Las Vegas this past weekend, but he’s a running back all of the way at the next level, according to his coach.
“Obviously you’ve got to have speed to be able to play at that level,” Sanchez said. “He’s a speedy guy. He ran a laser-4.4, so he can run. The thing that really separates him is his physicality. He’s a big kid, 210 pounds plus. He’s a real physical kid inside there with some speed.
“It’s a good dynamic for people who want to run between the tackles. He’s that type of back, but he has the speed to do stuff on the perimeter also. He has real good hands, good route-runner coming out of the backfield. He does a lot of different things.”
USC seems to be nearing an offer and even without an offer are among Starks’ current favorites alongside Notre Dame and Oklahoma. The Irish have been on Starks heavy.
“They’re doing a really good job,” Sanchez said. “He’s very interested in them. There are some other teams, but Notre Dame is at the top of his list.”
The connection to Stanley is one of the reasons Notre Dame has caught Starks’ eye.
“Ronnie has had a great experience so far,” said Sanchez. “When those guys come back, they spread the gospel of what’s going on there. Obviously Ronnie talks very highly about what’s happening, he’s enjoying the experience.
“One of the big things too is their graduation rate, the success that their student-athletes have. Nate’s done a really good job of looking at the big picture. When we sit down, we talk as much about the academics, graduation and life after football as we do what’s going to happen during your four or five years there.”
Starks could get a chance to see Notre Dame up close soon.
“We’re trying to work it to where he can come on up and do an unofficial,” said Sanchez. “He’s looking at going up there in the next month or so.”
Sanchez will be one of the speakers at Notre Dame’s Coaches Clinic, which begins April 11th, and could bring Starks with him on the trip.
“We’re talking about it. I told his mom I was heading up and that he might as well tag along with me and get a look at it. We’ll see. Nothing’s set yet, but we’ll see.