In somewhat of a surprise, Mike Brey received a commitment Sunday night from local talent JR Konieczny, as shown below:
Konieczny is the staff's first commitment in the 2021 class and is enrolled at local high school South Bend St. Joseph's. He provides a much-needed sigh of relief for the coaching staff after some recruiting struggles over the last two seasons. Mike Brey and company lost out on highly coveted 2020 prospect Terrance Williams a month ago, who chose Georgetown over the Irish. Konieczny is the first high school commitment the Irish have received since Chris Doherty in November of 2017, ending one of the worst stretches of recruiting the Notre Dame basketball program has ever had.
While 2020 remains the main focus at this point, it appears that Mike Brey and co. are not ignoring the 2021 class with this commitment. While Konieczny is not ranked nationally and did not have big-time offers, both Indiana and Purdue were looking at him. The commitment is a step in the right direction and something to build upon moving forward. ND has changed its recruiting strategy and has started offering players much earlier in the recruiting process, and it looks like the decision has worked.
Having said this, there is still much to accomplish recruiting-wise this fall. 2020 is as crucial of a recruiting class as Notre Dame has ever had given two straight years of missing the NCAA tournament and not having a commitment in the 2019 class. If the program wants to get back to its success it had from 2015-2017, the 2020 class needs to feature some elite high school players.
Featured Photo: Michael Caterina/South Bend Tribune