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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Justin Walters Enjoys Return Trip To Notre Dame, Hopes To Return Again

November 27, 2020

In any other season, Notre Dame’s game against Clemson earlier this month would have been the Irish’s biggest recruiting weekend of the year.

Of course, this isn’t any other year.

Notre Dame can’t formally host any recruits because of COVID-19 restrictions, but a few Irish commits in the Class of 2021 found their way to South Bend for the primetime showdown against the Tigers.

Illinois safety commit Justin Walters‍, Ohio tight end Mitchell Evans‍ and Indiana offensive lineman Blake Fisher‍ met up on campus to take in the atmosphere.

“It was a pretty good experience overall,” Walters said.

Unfortunately, they couldn’t do all that much.

“It was a little disappointing that we couldn’t get into the game,” said Walters.

Since Notre Dame isn’t selling tickets to the general public this season, the program can’t provide recruits with tickets either, something the trio was aware of before making the trip.

“We were trying to go to a sports bar like B-Dubs or something, but couldn’t get into any of those either because it was so packed,” Walters explained. “We ended up watching it in an apartment.”

Even without the chance to be inside Notre Dame Stadium, Walters enjoyed himself.

“It was great to be with the guys and be on campus, around that environment was a cool experience,” he said. “We walked around campus after the game when everybody left and just that energy was a pretty cool experience.

“I had met Blake once when I was uncommitted, but we’ve only really talked through our group chats and stuff, so it was cool to put words with the face and really get to know these other guys and spend time with them. These are the guys I’m going to be with. I hope that before we all go up, we get to do it again with some more guys.”

Walters said Fisher and Evans are “definitely” the kind of kids he would fit in with.

“It’s pretty cool because they say they recruit the same type of people, but you don’t really understand that until you actually meet them and start talking about your future and stuff,” he said.

The Bolingbrook High School star acknowledges the idea of being a part of an elite program like Notre Dame is still surreal to him.

“It’s kind of hard to fathom right now,” he said. “I can’t imagine being on a stage that big.”

Still, he would have been thrilled with the Irish’s win over Clemson even if it wasn’t his future home.

“I wanted them to win just because everybody doubted them,” he said. “Looking at the game as a fan, I wanted Notre Dame to win because of the fact that people don’t think they should be in the Top 4. People think they were given their spot. This game really showed they could compete with the #1 team.

“You can probably tell I’m not the most cocky guy, so it’s not really hitting home that I’m going to a team that is in the Top 4 college football programs in the US right now. I’m finding it hard, like I said, to fathom that I’m going into a program like that. Beating the #1 team, an undefeated Clemson team, I don’t have any words.”

After seeing his senior season pushed to the spring, the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder plans to enroll early at Notre Dame.

“I think it’ll be really beneficial, especially since we didn’t have a season this fall,” Walters said. “I haven’t played a football game in over a year, so I really need to get back into the swing of things. I don’t think it’ll take that long, but having the extra time, especially to get my body right.

“I’m still kind of skinny. I just want to get in there early and have those extra months to get my body right, get a little faster and a lot stronger.”

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