Nearly three weeks after Notre Dame celebrated the signing of its 2012 class, another player was added to fill what could be a huge hole, but it wasn’t without some last-minute drama.
During an afternoon announcement at Kyrene de la Esperanza Elementary School in Arizona on Tuesday, Davonte' Neal chose the Irish over Arkansas, North Carolina and Arizona.
It came after Neal was a no-show for a scheduled television announcement in front of the school in the morning.
Whether the 5-foot-9, 175-pound Neal plays offense or defense for the Irish remains to be seen, and he and his father, Luke, maintained it wasn’t discussed.
However, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly hinted he would use Neal on offense.
"Deciding on a college is one of the toughest decisions a young player makes in his life so we are very pleased with Davonte's decision to attend Notre Dame," Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said. "Davonte' was an electric playmaker in high school and was capable of making the big play any time he had the ball in his hands. He excelled as a receiver, as a running back and as a returner for Coach (Charlie) Ragle at Chaparral High School. I imagine we'll use him in a similar fashion here."
Whichever side Neal lines up on, he brings impressive high school credentials.
Neal rushed for 1,317 yards and 16 touchdowns on 100 carries, and had 1,113 yards and 14 scores on 62 receptions.
Defensively, Neal made 31 tackles and had 12 pass break-ups. He also had five special teams touchdowns.
His decision is binding now that Notre Dame has officially received his signed national letter of intent.
"Davonte' is a great compliment for our 2012 recruiting class," Kelly said. "As I said almost three weeks ago, we wanted to add more skill players to our team and we did a nice job of doing that. I look forward to coaching Davonte' and the rest of his class this fall."
Stay tuned to IrishEyes.com for more coverage of Neal’s decision
Get inside coverage of your favorite team. Click here now to get started.