Blue and Gold Illustrated

June-July 2019

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

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36 JUNE/JULY 2019 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY MIKE SINGER Jordan Botelho's commitment to Notre Dame came together fairly quick. The 6-3, 230-pound four-star de- fensive end from St. Louis High School in Honolulu landed an offer from Notre Dame Jan. 29, but the Irish weren't considered a favorite for him at that point. However, Notre Dame's staff pushed hard for Botelho, and he set up an official visit to Notre Dame and landed in South Bend April 12. That trip was a game changer for Botelho, who was blown away by what the school and football program had to offer. Although he considered making his decision during the visit, he chose to go home and let what he had experienced sink in. On April 18, with defensive line coach Mike Elston also on the island, Botelho made his commitment to the Fighting Irish. "On my visit, everything went per- fect," Botelho said. "I loved the coaches. The position I'm going to play, the drop, it seemed like it fit me perfectly. "It was a no-brainer for me. I'm very happy that I made the decision. The reason I committed so early was be- cause I'm trying to get everything to- gether to graduate early in December. I want to get my school to okay that." To land the all-state selection, the Irish had to beat out some of the na- tion's premier programs. Ohio State, Oklahoma, USC and Washington were among the other schools that pushed hard for Botelho, but there was one that stood out above the rest. "Definitely the education and networking," he explained of what helped the Irish win out. "I know that a degree from Notre Dame is special and I'll be taken care of after I graduate. That was a big factor." Botelho gave the news of his com- mitment to special teams coordinator Brian Polian, who recruits Hawai'i for the Irish. "I gave Coach Polian a call and our conversation went well," he said. "I didn't want to waste any time, and I told him that I would like to commit. "He was happy, very excited." Polian made a trip to Hawai'i in May to visit Botelho's high school and inquire about other prospects in the area. "It was all love and great seeing him," Botelho said. Botelho, who is listed as the No. 1 prospect in Hawai'i and No. 32 over- all player in the nation by 247Sports, will play drop end at Notre Dame and is excited with how he'll fit in that position. "Coach Elston made it really com- fortable for me," he explained. "On my visit, he showed my film mak- ing my plays and his players making their plays. It was side to side and it showed me that it's the same thing that I'm doing in high school. I just have to get stronger and faster for it to translate to the next level." Another highlight of Botelho's Notre Dame official visit was going to Polian's home for dinner. "That was great," he said. "I was very happy and thankful that coach invited us to his house. We had a bar- becue and it was a good time for my parents and me to sit down and talk to the coaches and get to know them." The four-star recruit noted he is very firm in his verbal pledge. "I'm locked in and set on Notre Dame," he said. "It's 'Go Irish' for life now." Botelho becomes a different person when he steps on the football field, and he can't wait for the opportunity to show that in South Bend. "In the locker room, I'm a quiet, lead-by-example guy," he noted. "On the field, that's when I tend to get louder, when everyone is going at it." During his junior season, Botelho racked up 13.5 sacks, forced four fum- bles, recovered three and registered more than 20 tackles for loss while helping lead St. Louis to an undefeated season that was capped with a state championship. Only four teams were able to score 20 or more points. ✦ FILM ANALYSIS Strengths Jordan Botelho shows a good burst off the line and possesses top-notch agility and balance … Athletic traits plus aggressiveness and motor make him a dominant edge rusher at the prep level … Speed and power off the edge are top notch, and he shows a dip and rip move to get around the outside … Plays with good pad level, a strong base and has the traits to disengage and explode to the ball carrier against the run … Anchors well on the edge when teams run at him … Has the body, range and instincts to move to inside linebacker if the need arises. Areas For Improvement Will need to add a bit more strength and girth to handle the edge … Pass rush repertoire needs to be expanded a bit at the next level … Has played in coverage at times and shows a good feel, but he'll need more experience. — Bryan Driskell COMMITMENT PROFILE JORDAN BOTELHO Hawaiian Defensive End Commits To Notre Dame The four-star Botelho is listed by Rivals as the nation's No. 24 outside linebacker, but he is being recruited to play drop end at Notre Dame. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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