Notre Dame Recruiting Impact: Decommitment of Markese Stepp

Markese Stepp - Notre Dame RB Commit

After getting some potentially great news earlier this weekend when Houston Griffith decommitted from Florida State shortly after an in-home visit from Notre Dame DB coach Todd Lyght, the Irish got some bad news on Saturday.  Markese Stepp, the first commitment in the class of 2018 and one of the most prolific recruit recruiters Notre Dame has had, has decided to decommit from Notre Dame and reconsider his options.

Stepp announced his decision over Twitter on Saturday night.

Given Stepp’s recruiting efforts over the last 18 months, the news probably came as a shock to most Notre Dame fans.  Tom Loy of 24Sports then tweeted the following which also probably came as a surprise to most Notre Dame fans.

We had heard some rumblings about Stepp’s commitment back in the summer, but given how much Stepp was still recruiting for Notre Dame, it seemed very out of left field and surprising. We won’t add to any speculation here, but given Loy’s tweet it doesn’t sound like this news was all that surprising to the Notre Dame coaching staff given it was a mutual decision.  Another tweet from Irish Sports Daily’s Matt Freeman with quotes from Stepp reflect the feelings of a kid who is pretty broken up about the development.

Again, adding all of that up and reading between all of the tea leaves doesn’t seen too difficult, but let’s leave any of that speculation.  Still, it leaves Notre Dame at 18 commitments just two months out from National Signing Day.

The good news here is that Notre Dame should still be pretty set at the running back position in the fall regardless of what Josh Adams ends up deciding with regards to the NFL.  Even if Adams were to leave early, Notre Dame will have five scholarship running backs on the roster next fall.

  • Dexter Williams – Will be a senior and maybe, just maybe the Notre Dame staff will finally decide to use him prominently next fall after using him sparingly despite dynamic results whenever he’s touched the ball.
  • Tony Jones Jr – Will be a junior after his sophomore season didn’t really live up to the pre-season hype due to numerous nagging injuries.  When healthy, Jones is an every down back type of player.
  • Deon McIntosh – After being over shadowed coming into the season, the sophomore had played better than anyone could have expected.  His opportunities dwindled as Notre Dame’s November crash unfolded, but he showed many times this year he can make plays.
  • CJ Holmes – Ended up burning a redshirt for some meaningless snaps midway through the season, but will still only be a sophomore next year.  Holmes is a very exciting young runner for the Irish.
  • Jahmir Smith – With the loss of Stepp, Smith is the only other running back in the class of 2018 for Notre Dame.

Now, add in Josh Adams into that group – I know, I know probably a pipe dream – and the running back stable still looks pretty well stocked for 2018.  So stocked in fact, that it will be interesting to see if Notre Dame really pushes for another running back in the class or if they will use the scholarship elsewhere such as either of the lines.

Notre Dame could still use another offensive lineman, two more corners, another defensive end, and another linebacker.  Notre Dame looks like they very well could land a second tight end in Tommy Tremble as well.  Finishing the class out strong in those areas would be more beneficial long term than trying to recruit a number of backs cold at this point.


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  1. Positive Pete 2 years ago

    The news just got even better gang ?? Hot off the press!!! I just read that Braden Lenzy is doing an official visit to South Bend this very weekend. ?? I was shocked that it is all happening so quickly! Speaking of quickly, just wait until you see this kid’s speed. He is just what the doctor ordered for our team!!!! Let’s roll out the red carpet for this kid this weekend. Go Irish!!!!

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  2. Positive Pete 2 years ago

    I just read that Braden Lenzy is no longer committed to Oregon. He is back looking at ND. This kid is a speed demon like Will Fuller!!!! I think we can get him (Let’s all cross our fingers). I am giddy with excitement on this one my friends 🙂 🙂 🙂 Go Irish!!!!!!

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  3. Greg Kelly 2 years ago

    Before it’s to late, grab off Iowa St. Matt Campbell. Beating Oklahoma and TCU back to back.

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    1. Ron Burgundy 2 years ago

      It’s too late.

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  4. Greg Kelly 2 years ago

    I would never blame anything on you. At least you’ve cleaned up your language. Glad to see you’re not relying on your old standby ” kelly” crutch. Keep up the good work.

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  5. Greg Kelly 2 years ago

    Although I wholeheartedly disagree with most of Davids positions, that’s what makes UHND a legitimate site to air it all out. I wish He would get rid of His “kelly” crutch. Very weak arguement.

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    1. david 2 years ago

      And your “David crutch”, Einstein, how’s that oblivious hypocrisy working out for you?

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  6. Greg Kelly 2 years ago

    They will be rejoicing on Baker St. when Baker takes home the Heisman. Temple vs. Navy, I’m sure you are right. Who would ever have picked Temple. Sorry to announce next years date in LA, it will be reverse score. Caveat, only if Darnold returns, and I’ll be gosh darned if The ” private one” doesn’t end up running the ball out west. Earthquakes do strike twice.

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  7. Greg Kelly 2 years ago

    Southside, it gets worse than that, Duranko ” Wishing for a Samoan Christmas ” dreaming of Solomon Tuliaupupu joining the ranks. Lightning doesn’t strike twice. ( Te’o)

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  8. david 2 years ago

    Markese Stepp went from ND peer recruiter to “I’m outta here”.

    I can see how he didn’t figure Kelly out until the end of the season….he’s just a high school kid. The world only began a couple years ago for him.

    But the rest of you?!

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    1. duranko 2 years ago

      David, you seem to struggle with this.

      Brian Kelly is the coach of the team I root for, come hell or high water. This year was not my first rodeo.

      Brian Kelly brought me and my family nine wins, including a squeaker over SC, and comfortable wins over NC State, Michigan State and Boston College.

      What do you bring, David? The grating annoyance of a high colonic.

      The day I ever, EVER think of apologizing to you will be shortly after little animals with weird snout noses and pointed ears fly past your window.

      I root for the Notre Dame players. I root for the coach and his staff.

      You can choose not to.

      And whatever ails you in the workplace, or frustration with family and children, will not be cured with your incessant one note wail on this board.

      Rooting for Notre Dame is a voluntary activity. I choose to do it.

      What you choose to do, and I’m no psychoanalyst, may well be a voluntary activity, or not………………..

      are you peaceful or content about anything, any one single thing, in your life?

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      1. Damian 2 years ago

        My question is have we gotten to the point that ND is content with 10-4, 9-3 seasons now? I’ve said before, after 8 years BK is probably an above average coach. He’ll get you to bowl games most years, and maybe every few years a NY Day 6 bowl. But I no longer believe he’s capable of being an elite coach. Not every coach can be. Is ND happy with that? Have they decided we just can’t make it at the next level, a NC level team?

        That is my fear. That the real powers that be at ND are ok with just being at best above average. That deep down they feel we just can’t compete with the Alabamas of the world.

        I’m a fan, I’m proud of what ND stands for and actually believe they are capable of being elite with the right coach. I don’t have any personal animus for BK, for me I just believe he’s reached his potential, that this is probably the best we can hope for out of him.

        I’ll root for ND for every game, but I will be a Doubting Thomas next year. I won’t be drinking the Kool-Aid if they start 8-1q or even 8-0 again. If they go 11-1, or 12-0, then I might re-evaluate at that point, but no more buying in until the season is over.

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      2. david 2 years ago

        Here’s what you “struggle” with: the idea that other people are entitled to have their own opinion.
        Get over yourself.

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  9. Greg Kelly 2 years ago

    Recruiting update: Coveted wide out Amon- Ra St. Brown seen with cross town rival of UCLA receiving gloves in last Saturday’s championship game. Another that slipped away. Guaranteed He will be burning the Irish for years to come.

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    1. southside 2 years ago

      Greg , had no idea Ama-Ra committed to USC. Thank you for update.

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    2. duranko 2 years ago

      Outstanding work, Inspector Clouseau.

      After your Pink Panther sleuthing of your “prediction” or “guarantee” about the Navy-Temple game, a prediction which, mysteriously, you did not repost, you promised 90 degree gametime temperature for ND-Stanford. Then you had a severe triple braincramp as you blanked on the ND Cotton Bowls.

      Ever since Daniels committed to USC, Amon-Ra has been crystal balled by those with sense (a grouping you find both alien and terrifying!) to USC.

      And, given your other gaps, you may have missed this small fact:

      2017 result Notre Dame 49-SC 14

      Most experts (again, this is a group that speaks of version of truth that is mystical to you) believe that the game was not so close as the final score indicated.

      Is it shame or sloth that prevents you from reposting your prediction on Navy-Temple?

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      1. david 2 years ago

        Again..a win is the only reality that matters. That’s some serious football knowledge on display there.

        A completely unpredictable team, often lacking in basic skill and technique, sometimes even basic gameday effort, managed to not give back one game that USC handed to them.
        Excellence my @ss.

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  10. Greg Kelly 2 years ago

    Finally, someone here that doesn’t’ think idealistically. I thought the Titanic was unsinkable.

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  11. Ron Burgundy 2 years ago

    I guess you could say the running game has lost a Stepp.

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  12. duranko 2 years ago

    This staff, aided and abetted by Bill Rees (I surmise that it was he who shepherded identifying Langham, the big DE from Alabama) is ferocious in their intensity. They are relentless, in every good sense of the word.

    Southside below talked about his predilection for defense, a bias I share.

    We have a nice group coming in already, but were the staff to add Griffith, Kyler Gordon, Solomon Tuliaupupu and Langham (doubtful now that Bama has been jolted out of its torpor -by ND?????) it would be the best defensive recruiting class of this millennium.

    Sure the Big Three of Tuitt, Williams and Lynch in 2011 was stellar, but that class lacked the overall fit and depth of this potential ’18 class.

    But Southside may find that his defensive dreams are on the way.

    It will take until 2019 for this defense to have the correct personnel, fit and depth at all positions, but the destination seems clearer and more vivid each passing month.

    On Mr. Markese Stepp, I wish him well, and incorporate, in their entirety, the comments of poster Keith earlier in this thread.

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    1. southside 2 years ago

      Duranko , lot’s of potentials –yet don’t see D- line potentials in 2018 class. I’m concerned about war in the trenches now–not some dream of potential in 2019. You say we have a nice group coming in — but I want a nasty group–guys that eat BBQ wild boar at the training table like they do down south. Oh yeah , wild boar run in packs down in southern states. Positive Pete wants Yoga/Meditation lnto the culture of ND program —next thing ya know tail gating will be turned into wine tasting events with crackers & cheese. Hey , just having some fun here ranting — nothi’n else going on till the real deal –opening day versus Michigan Sept. 2018.

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      1. southside 2 years ago

        Tell ya what though–I”ll be rooting for Irish as always. I see a similar start to 2018 –as like 2017. Irish could be 4-1 , 5-0 by the time of Stanford game in October in South Bend. Go Irish.

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      2. duranko 2 years ago

        Southside, while I may have drunk the Kool-Aid, I am impressed by Jamion Franklin and both of the Ademiloloas.
        For whatever worth frame of references are, I am more excited by the bigger Ademilola and Franklin than I was by Ewell, Hinish and Myron Tagavailoa a year ago. And from the look of things, while the Ademilolas and Franklin might participate in yoga, I don’t see them as quinoa and tofu eaters. Perhaps your view of Jamion and the Ademilolas differs. And, reading Coach Kelly’s T-leaves, he thought that Ewell could be a force in 2018.

        I mentioned 2019 because it takes a full year, and Simon, The LBS, the DLS, the CBS and the safeties will have had a year in the system by 2019.

        We have a solid cadre at DE with 2 Hayes, Okwara, Kareem and a chomping at the bit Ogundeji.

        There is a large Louisiana fly in the Michigan ointment. This Shea Patterson, a potential transfer from Ole Miss, is no gimmee. He can really spin it. And with Ole Miss’ probation, he may be immediately eligible. It is yet premature, but he could be the Jarrett Stidham of 2018. There’s one big difference. Stidham sat out 2016 and was rusty in
        Patterson played a lot and well this year.

        Let’s keep the dialogue going, Southside, and let’s keep talking football.

        Go Irish!

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      3. Bruce Gregory Curme 2 years ago

        It’s interesting that Michigan is in our time slot (I think) for the Citrus Bowl. To me, the ratings result in that time slot will be interesting.

        BGC ’77 ’82

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  13. Bruce Gregory Curme 2 years ago

    Let’s recruit a fullback or two.

    La Crosse, IN

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    1. southside 2 years ago

      BGC , how can a “fullback” be recruited out of high school—-when there aren’t any to recruit.

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      1. Bruce Gregory Curme 2 years ago

        Well, Wisconsin, Michigan, the Academies, and a half dozen other strong programs seem to get them. Maybe they all quit HS and earned GED’s…that must be why there are none to recruit in HS, right? The real problem is that the “fullback” is perceived to be a threat to “the spread”…but who cares when we have a 45% completion rate? Hell, if you are only completing 45% of your passes, do you really even need to send 4 or 5 guys out on every down?

        BGC ’77 ’82

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  14. Greg Kelly 2 years ago

    You have to first be a follower before becoming a Leader.

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    1. George 2 years ago

      That’s nice

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