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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2028 DE Marcus Fakatou Picks Up Early Offer From Notre Dame

June 11, 2024
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Marcus Fakatou‍ just finished eighth grade, but the 2028 California prospect arrived in South Bend to camp at Notre Dame with seven scholarship offers.

He left with eight.

The 6-foot-7, 265-pound youngster, who could play tight end, worked out at defensive end for Irish defensive line coach Al Washington.

“I loved it,” Fakatou said. “I learned a lot of new things from him. I loved his energy.”

The future Orange Lutheran standout was challenged by Washington.

“He broke me out of my comfort zone and made me play three-tech, so d-tackle for five-on-five,” he said. “It kind of opened my eyes a little because I thought I was just going to play d-end, but he kind of shocked me when he switched me to three-tech.”

Fakatou said he felt did well, obviously well enough for Washington and head coach Marcus Freeman.

“Coach Freeman offered me, so I felt great,” Fakatou said. “We did the tour first and everything, and then after he was asking me how I liked it. I told him I loved it and then he just told me I had the offer. 

“All these other offers I have, it was like the d-line coach telling me I got an offer, but hearing it come from the head coach really put a good impression on me too.”

Fakatou was also impressed with Freeman.

“I like his energy,” he said. “He's a really nice dude.”

Fakatou adds the Irish to a list that already included USC, Washington, Utah, Arizona, Arizona State, BYU and Auburn. 

“Notre Dame, I would definitely put in my top three for sure now,” he said, adding that Auburn and Alabama are also at the top of his list. 

“I loved everything, campus especially,” Fakatou said, adding that he was also grateful for the chance to speak with Junior Tuihalamaka and Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa but not only that. He met Viliamu-Asa for the first time on Monday, but knows Tuihalamaka from back home. In fact, Tuihalamaka is the one who encouraged Fakatou to visit Notre Dame in the first place.

“I didn't really believe him at first, but after I came out, it definitely put a good impression on me,” he said. 

The conversation between the two about Notre Dame continued on Monday.

“He was just telling me why he picked a school, to get out of his comfort zone, because a lot of people pick colleges because they're comfortable with it,” Fakatou said of Tuihalamaka. “He picked it because it's like a family and a small town too, so there's not really a lot for them to do, so it keeps him focused on football and school. That really stood out to me, actually.

Fakatou heads to Oklahoma later this week and Michigan next week. He’d love to return to South Bend and plans on staying in touch with Washington. 

But for now, he’s just enjoying the beginning of what promises to be a long process.

“Me and my family, it's new to us. No one in the family's ever got offers or made it even to the college level. I'm just still taking it in. Of course, I'm still keeping my head down.”

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