Westerville (Ohio) South athlete Marcus Ball made an unofficial visit to Notre Dame's campus for the Irish's spring game this past weekend. A few days later he received the news he had been waiting for from their coaching staff.
"Coach [Mike] Elston called me," Ball said. "He had talked to Coach [Brian] Kelly and after he talked to Coach Kelly he offered me. They have been recruiting me hard and to finally get that offer was a blessing."
The offer from Notre Dame brings Ball to a total of 13. He had been talking about narrowing down his list in the near future, and the Irish's offer has put them squarely in the mix of that recruitment.
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"It definitely changes it a lot," Ball said. "I went up there and kind of fell in love with the school, so it makes it a tough decision.
"In a general term, they are in the top three. I don't know who is No. 1 and who is No. 2, but if I had top schools right now they would definitely be in the top three.
"It's a great school, great campus, great staff. I know I want to get my family up there in May or June before I make a final decision."
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound athlete has played extensively at quarterback in the past, but Notre Dame sees him on the defensive side of the football.
"They see me at outside linebacker," Ball said. "It's a different position and something I've never played, but I definitely think I could play that position."
Notre Dame's offer came through on Tuesday of this week. He also picked up an offer from the Indiana Hoosiers on that day.
"They have been recruiting me for awhile - about a month and a half," Ball said. "I have been talking to the coach there a lot and talking to him about everything, whether it be basketball or football. They finally came through with an offer and I was excited about that too."
Indiana is also recruiting Ball on the defensive side of the football and projects him to the safety position in college.
Other schools that have offered Ball include Arizona State, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Illinois, Minnesota, Pittsburgh and West Virginia. His brother, Ray Ball, plays for Wisconsin and Ball plans to visit Madison this weekend to see the Badger's spring game, but he would like to take a break from campus visits for a period after that trip. Visits will begin again, however, in preparation for a fall decision.
"I think I want to take my five official visits, so I kind of want to wait and make my decision later on," Ball said. "I don't think I need to be rushing my decision right now because I am only a junior. I think I will take it to the middle of my senior season, but you never know what is going to feel right. Something may hit you and you just want to go with it.
"I don't have that feeling in me right now. It's not that I don't have a feeling that I just love a school, because I do love Notre Dame, love being on that campus, love that staff, love the passion they have for the game. But as far as me making a decision, I think I want to definitely wait."