Story Poster
Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Notre Dame Stands Out For 2026 LB Markel Dabney

April 22, 2024

Markel Dabney‍ enjoyed his trip to Notre Dame for camp last summer, which is one reason the 2026 Virginia linebacker was so excited to land an offer from the Irish last month.

Dabney was back in South Bend this weekend and once again, left feeling good about the Irish.

“Everything went great,” Dabney told Irish Sports Daily afterward. “It went really good; from the visit to the practice and from the practice to the spring game, everything went great.”

The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder said the Blue-Gold Game was more than he anticipated.

“It went better than what I expected,” he said. “I didn't think they were going to score that much. But there were a lot of big plays happening and it was enjoyable to watch.”

The Huguenot High School standout had the chance to see more of campus than he did on his previous trip and the Stadium stood out as much as anything.

“The field is probably the best field I've seen this whole spring,” Dabney said. “Of all the schools I went to, that probably was the best field I've seen.”

Dabney, whose offer sheet also includes Virginia Tech, Penn State, Miami, Duke, Ole Miss, Tennessee, West Virginia and Arizona among others, was able to meet with head coach Marcus Freeman, defensive coordinator Al Golden and linebackers coach Max Bullough.

“When I had my meeting with Coach Max, we went over my film,” said Dabney. “He broke down my film and told me what I did good and what I did bad and what I need to work on so I can be better for this season.

“He was impressed with my playmaking ability, the way I can make plays; the playmaking things I can do can't be taught. That's what he liked about me.”

Bullough has made a strong early impression.

“He's a great person,” said Dabney. “He's energetic. I love to talk to him. I like Coach Max a lot.”

Dabney won’t take any more visits for a couple months. His next trip is scheduled to South Carolina in June and he’s hoping to be back in South Bend this fall.

“I'm going to try to get to a game,” he said. “I want to try to see what game day is like up here, so I'm going to try to get to a game this season, possibly when they play Florida State.”

The Irish will certainly be on Dabney’s mind for a while.

“Notre Dame is amazing. I ain't going to lie. This trip was amazing. This was probably the best experience I've had. Of all the colleges I've been to, this was probably the best experience.”

Looking to join a Fighting Irish community and get the latest scoop? Sign up for our newsletter and become an ISD Premium Subscriber: Sign Up for ISD

Notre Dame Fighting Irish Lace Up 3.0 Pullover Hoodie

subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.