Notre Dame is expected to swing by North Florida Christian School in Tallahassee soon and that stop could end up making a serious impact on the Irish’s running back recruiting for the Class of 2014.
Notre Dame will be stopping in to check on Jonathan Vickers, a 6-foot, 215-pound running back who already holds offers from schools like Alabama, Clemson, Stanford, Cal, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, North Carolina State and Louisville among others.
“I know they’re supposed to come by sometime this week, but I’m not sure exactly what day they’re coming,” North Florida Christian head coach Robert Craft said.
“They’ve been in steady contact with him for the last year between coming to visit him when they’re allowed to and Jonathan talking to them on the phone. He’s been calling them and talking, so yeah, there’s been a lot of contact between the two.”
Even without an offer at this point, the Irish have Vickers’ attention.
“No doubt,” his coach said. “I think he’s got a good bit of interest in Notre Dame. I think he has plans to hopefully visit this summer.
“I think the success they had last year combined with the tradition and that kind of thing. I think what they do on offense really fits his game.”
Vickers’ game would probably fit most offenses, according to his coach.
“Jonathan is an all-purpose back,” Craft said. “He would fit well in a pro-style, I-formation team, a downhill run team as well as a spread offense. He catches the ball extremely well out of the backfield. He’s just very versatile. He can do a lot of things. It’s a credit to his work ethic. He’s put himself in a position to really have a great opportunity at the next level.”
And Vickers is hoping to officially add Notre Dame as one of those opportunities soon.
“To my understanding, I think Jonathan was anticipating an offer from them this spring,” his coach said. “That’s kind of where things have been at. He was hurt last year, so they wanted to come down and see him during this spring evaluation period to see how he’s doing from the injury.”
Vickers suffered a broken leg in the first game of his junior year and missed the rest of the season, but is back on the field this spring and looking great.
Vickers also stands out away from the field.
“He’s a 3.9 GPA kid,” said Craft. “He’s the 11th-grade class president, so he’s a leader in the school. His character speaks for itself. He leads on the field and throughout the school building.
“I think it’s a credit to our school. It’s definitely a credit to the individual and his hard work. But our school, the type of setting here really promotes that type of student who does well in the classroom, is well-rounded, involved in extra-curricular activities. I think that really fits into what Notre Dame wants from a student-athlete as well.”
And that fit between Vickers and Notre Dame could end up being mutual, according to his coach.
“I think Notre Dame is going to be in the mix for sure because of the education you can gain from there. The opportunity to potentially play at the next level, Notre Dame has had plenty of people do that. Notre Dame is in the mix because of all that it can do for him, not only during his years there, but also what it can do for him beyond college.”