Blue and Gold Illustrated

March 2020

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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66 MARCH 2020 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED PREP PROFILES Vero Beach (Fla.) High class of 2021 weakside defensive end Keanu Koht earned his first scholarship of- fer from Missouri in May 2019. He picked up a couple more Division I offers in the spring, but his recruiting stock skyrocketed in early June. "It blew up out of nowhere," Koht said. "I took a tour with my seven- on-seven team; that's what kind of kick-started it because we were going to camps. At the Mercer Camp, I got like six offers in one day and things started rolling from there." His recruitment continued to blow up later in the summer, too. He added offers from Miami, Flor- ida and South Carolina before his junior season started, and in the fall Tennessee, Penn State, Alabama, Duke, Notre Dame and Florida State jumped in. His offer from the Fighting Irish came Nov. 21, the day before he helped lead the Indians to a 22-14 triumph in the Florida Class 8A state quarterfinals. "They'd have me rushing off the edge; that's something I can do," Koht said of Notre Dame. "It's an interesting offer. They're really good in academics. It's a pretty good offer and one I'm considering." Koht received the offer from de- fensive line coach Mike Elston, and he would like to visit South Bend to get to know the Irish staff more. Koht has also been in touch with Notre Dame director of recruiting Aaryn Kearney as well. "He's a cool guy," Koht said of Elston. "He wants me to come up for a visit, too, and that's something I look forward to doing. I want to see what it's about it. Everybody that knows anything about Notre Dame has good things to say about it." Koht takes pride in the classroom and is a high academic student. "When I was younger, my parents instilled in me to get good grades," the 6-6, 225-pounder said. "It's a part of me." Koht is still in the early stages of his recruiting process and doesn't plan on making any major decisions soon. A handful of schools have piqued his interest, including Flor- ida, Auburn, Alabama, Notre Dame, Penn State and others. The Rivals three-star recruit re- corded 42 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks in 2019. Notre Dame defensive line coach Mike Elston visited Vero Beach High Jan. 17 to show his interest in Koht, and Irish head coach Brian Kelly vis- ited the school Jan. 23 with director of player personnel Dave Peloquin. — Mike Singer Notre Dame had a select group of prospects in the 2021 and 2022 classes visit for its Echoes awards show weekend Dec. 13-15. La Grange Park (Ill.) Nazareth Academy class of 2022 wide receiver Tyler Morris didn't make it in for the awards show but he still made it to South Bend to watch the Irish's bowl practice and men's basketball game versus UCLA in the afternoon Dec. 14. "I think the visit went really well," Morris told Blue & Gold Illustrated. "I was really able to see more about the team and what they do. Last time I visited in October, it was hard to see that because it was game day and everyone was really busy. "But for this visit, we got to see them practice, tour the facilities, and I talked to a lot of the coaches. Being there and seeing firsthand what they're doing was great to be a part of." The Fighting Irish offered a schol- arship to the 5-10, 160-pounder in May, making him the first offensive player in the 2022 class to pick up one from them. The NCAA limits communication between coaches and prospects until Sept. 1 of their junior year, and as a sophomore Morris isn't able to talk to Notre Dame much un- less he gets on campus. Notre Dame had Morris on campus a few times in 2019, and Irish quar- terbacks coach Tommy Rees visited Morris' school in December. Morris got to catch up with Rees during his Dec. 14 visit, but another highlight of that trip was getting to have an extended conversation with wide re- ceivers coach Del Alexander. "With Coach Alexander, he told me what he was looking for in a player and more importantly as a person, seeing if I'm going to be the right fit for Notre Dame," Morris explained. "He said there might be really tal- ented recruits, but he wants to make sure his receivers fit Notre Dame. "Over the next couple of years, he really wants to build a relationship and find out who I am." Morris holds offers from Arizona State, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State and Wisconsin, in addi- tion to Notre Dame. It's too early for Morris to name any favorites, but Notre Dame is certainly a school Morris has high interest in. "I love their program and the coaches," he said. "It's close to home and could be a really good fit for me." — Mike Singer Athletic Florida Defensive End Wants To See Notre Dame Standout 2022 Wide Receiver Enjoys Another Irish Visit "I love their program and the coaches. It's close to home and could be a really good fit for me." Morris on Notre Dame KEANU KOHT ✪ ✪ ✪ Vero Beach H.S. Vero Beach, Fla. Status: Offered Class: 2021 Position: Defensive End Ht.: 6-6 • Wt.: 225 Rivals Rankings: Currently unrated TYLER MORRIS No star rating yet Nazareth Academy La Grange Park, Ill. Status: Offered Class: 2022 Position: Wide Receiver Ht.: 5-10 • Wt.: 160 Rivals Rankings: 2022 class not ranked yet

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