Notre Dame got an early commitment from one of the Garden State's top athletes early Thursday morning.
Abdel Banda of Morristown (N.J.) Delbarton told the Notre Dame coaching staff that he will be with the Irish next fall.
Abdel had offers from Georgia Tech, Purdue, Iowa, Indiana and Wake Forest before this past week.
"Notre Dame called me on Monday morning with an offer and when I got the official letter in the mail on Tuesday, I called them and committed."
The outside linebacker has added weight over the past few months and will begin the season at 218 pounds. He also increased his vertical jump two more inches to 38.
"I've worked hard in the off-season to put on more muscle weight and it made me faster and stronger"
So why Notre Dame?
"It really was a no-brainier for me. The tradition of Notre Dame football is second to none and I wanted to part of that. The academics played an important role as well. Receiving a degree from Notre dame means a lot."
Although Abdel made a solid commitment, he had nothing but good things to say about the programs that offered him.
"It was so nice of the schools that offered me. I really liked Georgia Tech and Purdue, but in the end I knew I would pick ND so why wait? I'm really excited to head into my senior season knowing I’m going to play for the Irish."
As a junior, Banda made 60 tackles and had four sacks.