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2023 Notre Dame Commit Troy Reader Discusses Unforgettable Weekend in South Bend

November 8, 2021
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Troy Reader might be QB1 for Berkeley Prep (Fla.), but he's also one of the best catchers in the country. 

The 2023 Notre Dame baseball commit returned to campus the last weekend of October with his best friend, Keon Keeley‍, who is a 2023 football commit. 

Reader and Keely not only had a great time in South Bend, but they also got to a new experience that caught them off guard. 

"It was awesome, especially going up with Keon to see our future school,” Reader told ISD. “I had never really seen fall before, so the trees and everything were gorgeous. 

"I've lived in Florida my entire life, so it's just hot and there isn't a season change. Keon and I really liked the weather up there. The campus looked awesome." 

Now, Reader isn’t a total stranger to Notre Dame as he made the trip most recently in June, but the chance to get around the baseball staff only made him more confident in his decision to leave the Sunshine State. 

"Coach (Link) Jarrett, Coach (Chuck) Ristano and Coach (Rich) Wallace were amazing,” stated Reader. “The hospitality was second to none. After talking with them, it really fires me up that I made a great decision and I'm going to play for a bunch of guys who are hungry to win, but they also value academics. 

"It seems like there are no shortcuts in this program and that's really what I believe in." 

Jarrett’s message to Reader and the other commits was simple, but it home as the Irish look to build on last year’s Super Regional appearance.

"He explained the core values of the program and what they stand for at Notre Dame,” Reader stated. “Coach Jarrett told us this is your future home and to be ready because when we get there, it's time to work." 

The baseball program was honored at halftime of the UNC game, so several commits were also in town for the weekend, which presented the opportunity for Reader to finally get to know his future teammates. 

"I've been committed since my freshman year along with most of the other guys,” explained Reader. “I never seen, met, or talked to them. It was cool to finally see my future teammates and get the chance to get closer with them to build that relationship." 

Reader also was able to reconnect with an old friend in Notre Dame centerfielder, Spencer Myers. 

"Spencer went to my high school and he's been like a big brother to me,” stated Reader. “He would pick me up before school and drive me to the gym to workout. 

"I was probably 12 years old at the time and after being around him, I had already made up my mind to be just like him and I wanted to go to Notre Dame too." 

The chance to catch up with Myers was special, but perhaps the weekend’s biggest moment came when his father was able to mingle with some of the current players. 

"Honestly, not only was I impressed, but what really helped validate my decision was how the players talked to my parents and family,” Reader said. “My dad went to a tailgate with some of the other current baseball parents and was blown away. 

"Every player he spoke with looked him in the eye and shook his hand. That's the type of kid I want to be. It helped validate my decision seeing the type of kids they are and it made me realize that's the type of kid I want to be." 

Reader’s trip was also a special weekend as he was able to experience it with his best friend in Keeley. 

The two met the first day of football as a freshmen at Berkeley Prep and one awkward conversation later, Reader and Keeley became attached at the hip. 

"We were doing our bench test and the freshmen are in the corner kind of shy because it was our first day of football,” recalled Reader. “All of a sudden, I see this 6-foot-4 giant walk in. I could tell he was trying to make conversation with people. I said, 'Hey, I'm Troy,' and he said, 'Where do you want to go to college?’ 

"I said, 'Dude, I don't know, but anywhere you go, I want to go.' I can't even make that up. 

"We're both from Florida and we both thought it was going to be Florida, but we're both extremely happy with our decision to go to Notre Dame." 

Keeley and Reader not only experienced fall for the first time, but they were able to really take in several special moments during the weekend. 

"We went to Chicago a day early and had a great time,” Reader said. “To go up to South Bend with your best friend, even if he wasn't going to Notre Dame, it would’ve been a treat, but the fact knowing my best friend and I are going to the same college is crazy. 

"The entire game we were going crazy whenever anything good would happen. It hit us that this is going to be our school and this isn't a dream. In a few years, he would be the guy I'm cheering for and he'll come to my baseball games and cheer for me. It's crazy to think that we're making a dream come true."

Reader was also grateful the Notre Dame baseball and football programs went out of their way to make sure the weekend was unforgettable and that includes a special photoshoot with his family and Keeley. 

"It really made me realize Notre Dame is home," said Reader. "I think Keon realized that too. No other college in the country would have treated us that way. I'm sure we could have a great time at other places, but the way people interacted with us - even just random people that we saw asking to take pictures. It made us feel way cooler than we actually are. 

"It was amazing. I just felt right at home." 

Irish Sports Daily
The Reader family and Keon Keeley
Irish Sports Daily
Troy Reader and Keon Keeley

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2023 Notre Dame Commit Troy Reader Discusses Unforgettable Weekend in South Bend

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