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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2022 LB Sebastian Cheeks on Notre Dame: 'I see them as family'

March 22, 2021

High school football was finally back in Illinois on Friday night and 2022 Evanston Township linebacker Sebastian Cheeks‍ wasted little time making a statement. 

The four-star prospect made the first tackle of the game for his team and the Wildkits cruised to a 48-6 win over Glenbrook North. 

"It's been a long time coming," stated Cheeks following the game. "Just to get back out here, especially with these seniors and not knowing if we were going to have a season - I'm just happy to be playing football again." 

Cheeks made big plays on both sides of the ball, including a 49-yard touchdown run to end the first quarter. 

"When Coach told me I would be playing running back, I'm ready to do whatever the team needs," said Cheeks. "I'm always going to put the team before myself. I'm going to accountable and stay by my teammates.

"It's been over 500 days since we've played, so I just want to keep rallying around the guys and get better every single week. That's all we can do at this point." 

The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder has put recruiting on the back burner to focus on his season, but Notre Dame is a program that's made quite the impression. 

Cheeks has been to South Bend multiple times and defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman has built a strong relationship with the Evanston Township star. 

"Coach Freeman and all those guys at Notre Dame are one of the staffs I'm closest with," Cheeks explained. "I see them as family. For Coach Freeman to be (one of) the first black coordinators at Notre Dame, it holds a place with me and means a lot. Notre Dame is high on my list for sure." 

Freeman turned up the heat a little bit since taking the job and it's been well-received by Cheeks. 

"Coach Freeman has been applying pressure since day one," stated Cheeks. "I'm focused on going through progressions. Finishing this season is at the top and then hopefully, I can cap off some recruiting stuff." 

The Fighting Irish will have competition from Michigan as the Wolverines have also dialed up the pressure. In fact, some would argue Cheeks has become extremely important to Michigan after losing in-state linebacker Joshua Burnham to Notre Dame last week. 

"Michigan has been coming at me hard," Cheeks said. "A lot of schools have been ramping up things because they know I'm getting closer to a decision. I haven't cut anything off, but I'm looking to do so after the season." 

Cheeks will keep his focus on finishing his six-game season, but then hopes to make a few more visits before making a commitment. 

"I hope to take some official or unofficial visits if the NCAA opens things up," said Cheeks. "I'm really kind of looking towards the end of July to get a commitment out." 

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