After showing some initial interest, Notre Dame came back around on Derek Kief this week, offering the 2014 Cincinnati receiver a scholarship on Thursday.
“Coach (Mike) Elston told me to call him,” Kief said. “I called him and he let me know then.
“I was real excited. They were in the national championship, so that shows there’s a good football tradition. The school has a really good tradition, so it’d be a real good place to look into.”
The Irish are added to the 6-foot-5, 185-pounder’s list, which already included schools like Alabama, Ohio State, Kentucky, Northwestern, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, Illinois, Cincinnati and Indiana among several others. They’d been in contact with the La Salle High School standout earlier in the process, but weren’t in a position to extend an offer.
“I had heard from them a little earlier this year, but they told me they didn’t have a spot for me at that time,” Kief recalled. “They said they had two receivers transfer out so that opened up more spots for them to recruit for the receiver position.”
The delay doesn’t matter to Kief.
“I really don’t care much because if they didn’t really have spots, then it wouldn’t have really made sense to recruit that position,” he said. “I’m not taking it to heart.”
He’s just happy to add another big-time offer to his list.
“I just know the football program is on TV a lot,” he said. “They have a lot of money in their school, so the football program is always top-notch and it’d be a good place to go.”
Kief expects to get out to South Bend at some point.
“I’m going to keep in touch with them and I’m going to visit them whenever I can,” he said.
His athleticism and frame make him a big target for quarterbacks and colleges.
“A lot of the coaches say I have really good ball skills and I can get in and out of my breaks really well for a 6-5, long guy,” he said. “A lot of the teams don’t really have a lot of tall receivers, so that’s always a plus.”
A handful of schools are already sticking out, but that could change.
“At this point, Ohio State, Alabama, Northwestern and Kentucky are,” he said. “Right now, those are the schools that I’ve visited, so I know a lot about them. It’s not taking anything away from the other schools I have offers from because I still have to visit them and they could easily get up in that spot. Those are just the schools I’ve been to.”
He doesn’t have any other visits scheduled at this point and isn’t completely sure what the biggest factors in his recruitment will be.
“Right now, I don’t really know,” he said. “I’m going to put all of the options down and check off which parts I like. Whichever one I feel fits me the best, I’ll decide.”
He doesn’t have a timeline for a decision either, but expects one before the end of summer.
“Not really yet, but I think it’s going to be some time before the football season.”