One of the premier defensive back prospects in the west region, Las Vegas (Nev.) safety Jashaad Gaines took an official visit to Notre Dame this past weekend and came very close to committing on the trip. After taking a day or two to think things over, the talented athlete decided to follow his heart and announced for the Irish.
"I just wanted to let you know that Jashaad has just committed to Notre Dame," Las Vegas head coach Chris Faircloth said in email to Rivals.com. "Jashaad is a big time player and a great athlete. He missed some time last season but he's a big hitter with good speed and just loves to compete."
Gaines, 6-0, 205 pounds was one of the stars from the SoCal Nike camp where he really launched himself from a somewhat unknown sleeper to one of the nation's top safety prospects. The athlete partially tore his ACL in the first game of the season last year but only missed a month of the season.
"The MRI showed it was completely torn," Gaines said. "My mom prayed and prayed and when they did the surgery, the doctor found only 20 percent of the ligament was torn so that's why I only missed a month of action."
Gaines, the No. 39 rated safety in the nation, still finished the year with 37 solo tackles and three interceptions and was also offered by schools like Nebraska, Stanford, Arizona State, Oklahoma, Washington and San Diego State.
Gaines officially visited Notre Dame this past weekend and nearly committed on the trip.
"That thought definitely crossed my mind," Gaines told Irish Illustrated analyst Steve Hare. "It was great, I loved it. The campus was really nice. It seemed really big when I first got there but it didn't seem so big when I left on Sunday."