Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD

Jurkovec Ready to Recruit and Excited for Notre Dame Future

February 1, 2017

Pine-Richland’s basketball team is rolling into February with a perfect 22-0 record and 2018 Notre Dame quarterback commit Phil Jurkovec is a large part of the Rams success.

The 6-foot-5, 200-pounder recently eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for his hoops career, which is quite the accomplishment for the junior. When that’s put against his 4,233 passing yards, 1,731 rushing yards and 51 touchdowns, it’s remarkable, but Jurkovec isn’t worried about personal accolades.

Jurkovec believes his squad has a chance to win State but also knows it will be a tough road.

“I think we definitely have the opportunity to do it,” Jurkovec told Irish Sports Daily. “It’s not going to be easy at all. There are a bunch of teams that could get us, but I really believe we can beat anyone in the state if we play well.”

It got me fired up seeing them in the stands. I wanted to go out there and dominate. - Phil Jurkovec
Jurkovec scored 28 points to go over 1,000 points, but he did it in front of Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly, offensive coordinator Chip Long, linebackers coach Clark Lea and 2017 Irish commits David Adams, Kurt Hinish and Josh Lugg.  

“That was cool,” Jurkovec said of the coaching staff and Pittsburgh rivals showing up. “It was awesome they came out to watch. It was cool the players came out to support me. I loved seeing them and being able to talk to the guys for a little bit.

“It got me fired up seeing them in the stands. I wanted to go out there and dominate. Having Josh, David and Kurt coming was awesome. The main reason they were there was to see Coach Kelly, but it was awesome to see them.”

As with a lot of athletes, basketball was Jurkovec’s first love and the five-star quarterback is already dreading giving up the sport when he heads to South Bend.
“I have always just loved basketball,” stated Jurkovec. “It was really my first sport I started playing. When I started playing football, I’ve always still played a ton of basketball. Over the last few years, I haven’t been playing as much basketball, but it’s something I really love. I am going to miss playing it in college.”

As the calendar flips to February 2nd, Jurkovec and the 2018 recruiting class will take center stage in the college football world. Notre Dame has gotten off to a great start in 2018 and the class is developing close relationships with each other already.  

“I definitely think we have a good bond,” explained Jurkovec. “The group of us, while it’s small right now, we still talk and we have a really good core right now. Talking with the coaches, they want to dial up the recruiting in 2018 now that the 2017 class is set.

“They want to go after some big-time guys, especially at receiver in the 2018 class.”

I do think the quarterback is in a position, in which I have to go out and try to get these guys. - Phil Jurkovec on recruiting
Markese Stepp’s recruiting efforts are relentless, but Jurkovec knows he will have to do his part and has already embraced taking on a big role, as the top-ranked prospect in the class.  

“I am definitely going to try to recruit and all of the commits are going to do their part,” he said. “I am going to try to get some big-time guys to come with us.

“I do think the quarterback is in a position, in which I have to go out and try to get these guys.”

While Notre Dame seems to have some momentum again, it wasn’t always easy for Jurkovec or the other 2018 commits. A 4-8 season isn’t easy on anyone associated with the program and then seeing your recruiter a position coach leave isn’t ideal, as Mike Sanford left to take the head-coaching job at Western Kentucky in December.  

“I’ve talked to Chip Long and Tom Rees a few times,” said Jurkovec. “Coach Long did stop by my school recently.”

Jurkovec has embraced the situation and is intrigued with the hire of Tom Rees. It was tough to see Sanford depart, but Jurkovec knows Rees can bring something Sanford can’t.  

“It’s huge,” Jurkovec said of Rees being named quarterbacks coach. “I can go to him anytime and ask him questions about what it was like being the quarterback at Notre Dame. He went through it all and he knows everything about it. He knows how it is playing under Coach Kelly.”

When basketball season ends, Jurkovec will head out on the camp circuit to continue the success of Notre Dame quarterback commits and hopes to qualify for the Elite 11.  

“I am going to be doing the Elite 11 Regional and I am going to hopefully get invited to the Elite 11 and The Opening,” said Jurkovec. “I am going to do the Under Armour Camps as well.”
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Jurkovec Ready to Recruit and Excited for Notre Dame Future

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