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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Notre Dame adds 'head-hunter' Kollie to '21 class

August 7, 2020

Hayden Chandley cut straight to the point.

In fact, the David Crockett High School, Tennessee, coach was as direct in his assessment of star pupil Prince Kollie as Kollie has been in attacking ballcarriers.

A 6-foot-2, 205-pound linebacker, Kollie verbally committed Friday night to Notre Dame over Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech and roughly 30 additional offers.

“They’re getting a head-hunter,” Chandley said of the Nigerian-born Kollie, who had several virtual visits with the Notre Dame staff but has not yet been to South Bend. “He has great instincts, I mean great instincts. They’re second to none.

“And he’s an extremely hard worker, on and off the field. It’s not only physically but also academics. You put it all into one person and that’s exactly what the university is going to get.”

Kollie earlier this week informed his coach of his decision to choose the Fighting Irish, with the devoutly religious Kollie leaning on both his faith and his family.

“His parents have done a great job of raising Prince,” said the coach. “His faith is extremely important to him; he wears it on his sleeves. He isn’t ashamed of that, and this decision to speaks to his faith.”

Kollie all along, since spring, had targeted a commitment prior to his senior season for the Pioneers, but the global COVID-19 pandemic nearly wrenched those plans. Kollie couldn’t visit schools in person throughout the spring and summer; that left myriad ZOOM calls and countless other video sessions.

“I’m super-excited for Prince to get this decision off his chest,” Chandley said. “When people think about kids getting recruited and kind of idolize that position that they’re sitting in, think it’s all glitz and glamour, but these are 17-year-old kids trying to live normal lives. It’s a lot of time, a lot of demands.

“He had planned all along to announce before the season; COVID kind of threw a wrench into that. But Prince is extremely excited and excited to get this decision off his chest.”

Why did Kollie tell Chandley that Notre Dame was his ultimate choice? It was a combination of both on- and off-the-field factors.

“Faith was a huge aspect of it,” Chandley said. “Relationships, those that he has developed in the last several months. His ability to get developed as a player, and a chance for competing at the highest level. (Notre Dame) is where he thought and felt he fit best. The program, the brotherhood, his faith. It was based on those principles.

“He chose a place he felt was home and the place he wanted to go the most. Off-field stuff matters as much as on the field to Prince and his family. He’s looking at life after football. The education, what the University can do for you after you’re finished playing was a huge factor.”

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