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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2024 LB Payton Pierce Sees Notre Dame As Good Match

January 1, 2023

December brought a busy end to 2022 for Payton Pierce‍.

“It's been wild,” the 2024 Texas linebacker told Irish Sports Daily. “I've had a gazillion different schools come up for me plus some other guys that are in my class at my school. It's been pretty crazy.”

With the Early Signing Period over, Pierce knows the attention will now shift to him and the other members of the Class of 2024.

“I'm excited for it and I think there'll be a lot of players that emerge who haven't been recruited yet,” the Lovejoy High School star said. “I think they'll start to show up, especially in Texas. I know there's a lot of guys who are starting to pick up their recruiting just because there's been all this 2023 stuff going on.

“I think with all the recruiting, getting focused around them, there's going to be a lot more guys starting to get recruited.”

Pierce’s recruitment kicked into full gear a while ago and the 6-foot-2, 230-pounder has already announced a Top 10 of Notre Dame, Texas, Texas A&M, TCU, Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Tennessee and Michigan.

He’s already been to South Bend twice and the Irish definitely have his attention.

“They're right at the top with the others,” he said.

As the Notre Dame coaching staff making the rounds cementing 2023 recruits, defensive coordinator Al Golden made multiple stops at Lovejoy, bringing head coach Marcus Freeman and multiple other coaches once.

“It was pretty sweet having Notre Dame coaches come back-to-back weeks to visit me at our school,” Pierce said. “I know they're visiting other places, but it's good to know that I'm that high up on their list.

“They're definitely toward the top…It's good seeing Notre Dame came all the way from Indiana to come talk to me. They're right up there.”

Pierce is set to be back in South Bend for the Irish’s Junior Day event on Jan. 14th.

“I'm super excited for that,” he said. “They keep telling me I'm a Notre Dame guy and I fit the mold and I would agree with them. Just looking at Notre Dame as a university and the academics and the kind of guys that they have on their team, it really appeals to me. That's kind of why I like Notre Dame a lot.

“Academically and the type of guys that they recruit are similar to me. They have good education, just really good guys that I want to be around. I don't want to go to some school where I've got a bunch of guys entering the portal and guys getting in trouble. I want to go to a university where there's a bunch of guys similar to me and want to have a common goal to get better and win and be together. I think I see that in Notre Dame more than I see it in some other schools. I think we appeal to each other. They think I fit what they want in their program and I think they fit what I want in a program.”

Pierce attended a TCU practice last month and expects to be at Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M in the coming weeks.

“I'm really trying to get this list down and slim things out and really start finding 2, 3, 4 schools that I really want to look at and invest in that and try to find what's best for me,” he said.

Pierce is hoping to have a decision around May or June.

“I want to go into my senior season with the school I'm committed to,” he said. “If it's before that or after that, it's just whenever I feel like I'm 100 percent certain on the school I want to commit to, I'm going to commit there. I'm not going to decommit and go somewhere else. That's why I'm going to take my time.

“I'm lucky enough to be recruited high enough where I don't have to really rush it or anything. That's pretty fortunate for me. I'm going to try to find the best fit and whenever that is, is when I'll decide. But I'm guessing it'll probably be June, May-ish.

“I've been pretty fortunate. All the schools that have recruited me are my style. Every school that I've been recruited by and that I'm looking into right now has kind of fit the mold of what I like in a program. It has made making the decision a little more tough because there are a lot of schools that have a lot of positive things about it.”

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