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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Father Of Notre Dame S Commit JaDon Blair | "Extremely Proud"

July 6, 2024

JaDon Blair‍ wasn’t a lock to Notre Dame in the beginning. 

“In the beginning we didn't know,” Blair’s father, Jay, telly Irish Sports Daily. “We didn't know what a Notre Dame commitment looked like. 

“But then as the process kept going, kept going, and we're getting to know people and they're getting to know us, the level of comfortability just continued to grow.”

It grew to the point where Blair announced his commitment to the Irish over schools like Penn State, Florida State, Michigan and several others on Friday.

“For him to choose a prestigious institution like Notre Dame to get his degree and to play a great game that he loves, we're more than ecstatic,” Mr. Blair says. 

The Irish coaches played a major role in his son’s decision.

“The whole time they were recruiting us, we were recruiting them as well,” he says. “They're evaluating us, we're evaluating them. Along this journey, we've met some great men at other institutions and at Notre Dame. 

“Those last two or three schools that it came down to, all of those guys were more than capable. But it was just that comfortability factor, that knowing factor that pushed it over the edge. We love it for him. We love the decision that he's made.”

Of course, the football was important as well, something not lost on Mr. Blair, who played for defensive line for the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns after a successful career at East Carolina. 

“The best exposure, the best opportunity to not only play, but to play at a high level and be amongst those greats who walked the halls and graced that field at Notre Dame,” Mr. Blair says. “I think I can speak for a lot of players, the gridiron is hallowed ground, it's sacred. 

“To be able to play the game you love at a school like Notre Dame for the next three, four years, that's amazing. That's nothing short of amazing.”

Mr. Blair says he’s “extremely proud as a dad” to see the way his son navigated the recruiting process.

“Going through this as a 16-year-old going to his senior year, it is just amazing what he does,” he says. “When I say going through this, I don't want it to seem like it's a bad process or something not good. This is a great blessing that he's been bestowed with and being able to maneuver it the way he's done with the attention to detail and the fortitude to keep going speaks for itself.”

But he won’t take all the credit.

“There were more hands in there than just me,” he continues. “I know I'm Dad and I've been there since day one, just like Mom, right? But so has his brother and his older sister. They've been there since day one with him. Grandparents, people along the way have helped mold him to become the person he is now. 

“I can only be thankful and grateful that he allowed himself to be nurtured by those different individuals as well as myself and his mom as well.”

The process featured several unofficial visits over the past couple years, culminating in whirlwind tour of official visits that had the family on the road more than they were at home. 

“This whole journey, this whole trip to this point, and he really has more to go, it has been a heck of a journey. But I'll do it 10 more times, just to get him where he wants to be, just for him to feel that feeling of 'I'm getting close to my goal and coming to Notre Dame is getting close to his goal, his ultimate goal.' I'll do it 10 more times for him to gain that feeling. 

“He's been playing tackle football since four years old and as long as he's up to it, I'm up to it. Let's rock.”

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