Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey and assistant Martin Ingelsby deserve credit for being the first high-major to develop a close relationship with Bonzie Colson and for being the first major program to extend an offer to the 2014 Rhode Island power forward.
There’s no doubt that gave the Irish a head start and allowed them to show exactly how highly they thought of him as a player and a person. But that wasn’t the chief reason Colson decided to offer the Irish his verbal commitment on Monday morning at St. Andrew’s School in Barrington, R.I.
“In the back of my mind, it was always something, but even if they were the first offer or the last offer, I feel like that was the right fit for me,” the 6-foot-5, 210-pounder said.
“I just knew it was the right fit for me. I feel like I can adapt to their style of play and I like their coaching staff a lot also.”
Colson picked the Irish over his other finalist, Florida State, along with a host of offers from schools like Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Rhode Island, Miami and Temple among others.
“They play the style of play I know,” Colson continued. “They have an open offense and I think I can fit pretty well in that. They produce good undersized four-men and three-men too, so I thought that would be good for me if I want to make it to the next level.”
In addition to the fit on the court, Colson understands what Notre Dame can offer in the classroom.
“It’s great academically,” he said. “If basketball doesn’t work out, I always have something to fall back on. It’s a great degree.”
And in the end, those relationships that formed early did play some role.
“Me and Coach Brey are pretty close,” Colson said. “We talk a lot. Coach Ingelsby was my main recruiter. Me and him talk a lot too.”
Those relationships were cemented when Colson had the opportunity to take an official visit to South Bend last month.
“When I was up there, it was great getting to know them better and it was great seeing them interact with the players and just seeing the campus,” he said.
Brey and Ingelsby were both excited to hear the news this morning.
“Coach Brey was in the airport and I told him,” Colson recalled. “He was excited and he said that I picked the right school and he was going to enjoy coaching me.
“Coach Ingelsby said it was great for me to commit, he was excited and can’t wait to get me up there.”
Colson too is excited to get the recruiting process behind him and concentrate on finishing his high school career on a positive note.
“It’s a huge relief. Now I can worry about the season and hopefully winning a championship this year.”