Mckenzie Names Leader Coming Out of Notre Dame Visit

July 10, 2017
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Notre Dame had been a school 2018 Valley Christian (Calif.) safety D'Angelo Mckenzie had wanted to see since he picked up an offer from the Irish in the spring. On Monday, the four-star prospect got to experience Notre Dame, and it didn’t disappoint despite it being a rainy day.

“It was amazing to get up to see the campus,” Mckenzie told Irish Sports Daily. “It was so beautiful, and the facilities were great too. I liked it a lot.”

Mckenzie started off the day by getting to see football facilities and meeting with the guy he could spend a lot of time with if he ends up in South Bend.  

“We went to The Gug when we first got to campus,” explained Mckenzie. “I got to see the workout facility and met Coach (Matt) Balis. I met with a few of the coaches and got to tour the campus.

“I saw the football field, which was amazing. It was crazy.”

Balis had a positive impact on Mckenzie, and his track record impressed the California native.  

“Coach Balis is a great guy,” Mckenzie stated. “When I first met him, he was very welcoming. He explained a lot of stuff, and he has a lot of experience at what he does. He’s a great coach.”

Mckenzie also got to speak with cornerbacks coach Todd Lyght and head coach Brian Kelly on the visit.  

“I talked with Coach Lyght, and his message was about the long-term goal,” said Mckenzie. “You have to think about more about than just football. He told me Notre Dame was big on academics and football, but not just football.

“Coach Kelly was headed out of town, but we spoke when I first got there.”

The Valley Christian star spent most of the day with area recruiter Brian Polian. The two have formed a close relationship over the last few months and only strengthened their bond on Monday.  

“Coach Polian was the one that set the whole thing up for me,” Mckenzie said. “It was great to spend time with him. I don’t know how to say this anymore, but he’s an honest coach and keeps it real. I like that about him.”

Last week, Mckenzie had stated he thought he was ready to narrow things down, and Notre Dame could be the choice. A commitment was a topic of discussion, but Mckenzie will let things play out a little longer and see how things go off the field.  

“We did talk about a plan,” explained Mckenzie. “Right now, I am going to play it safe and wait it out. Sometime around October, I will see what’s happening and stuff.”

The trip to Notre Dame was well worth it for Mckenzie, and he wasn’t hesitant to state the Irish are his leader coming out of the visit.  

“I would say Notre Dame is in the lead,” said Mckenzie. “I really haven’t visited a lot of other schools, but out of the schools I have visited, I really like Notre Dame the most.
I will come back out and catch a game this fall on an official visit.”  


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