Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2021

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

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Page 26 of 39 FEBRUARY 2021 27 PREP PROFILES Boonville (Mo.) High class of 2022 defensive end DJ Wesolak's first offer came from Tennessee last August. He couldn't have predicted what would come next. He entered November armed with 11 scholarship offers, but then the floodgates opened. Powerhouse pro- grams such as Notre Dame, Okla- homa, Oregon, Penn State and Texas — among others — entered the race for him as well. Wesolak's big junior season helped his recruitment take off. He carried the ball 21 times for 187 yards and three touchdowns, caught 20 passes for 256 yards and two scores, and also compiled 59 total stops, 19 tack- les for loss, eight sacks, two forced fumbles and one blocked field goal. The 6-5, 225-pounder landed his offer from Notre Dame Nov. 19 dur- ing a conversation with defensive line coach Mike Elston. "I talked to some of the coaches a couple months before in September; I wasn't expecting the offer when I got it," Wesolak said. "I was expect- ing something to eventually come out of their in- terest, but I was shocked. They're a great school. "Coach Elston is a cool coach. He's really humble and great to talk to. He's excited about my film and offer- ing me. He can't wait to get to know me more and get me on a visit when COVID-19 clears up." The four-star prospect has not been to Notre Dame, but has plenty of fa- miliarity with the program. "When I was a little kid, my great grandpa loved Notre Dame and I always watched them," Wesolak explained. "I know they have great academics and set their players up for life after football. They're always great in football, too; I can't remem- ber a year when they weren't great. "Their defense is always one of the tops in the nation, too. Coach [Brian] Kelly is a great coach." We s o l a k n o w holds more than 20 offers and is taking his time with the recruiting process since it's still in the early stages, but it's clear that an offer from Notre Dame has made a mark on his recruitment. "It's really impactful for me," he said. "I take a lot of pride in the Notre Dame offer, as well as Texas, Oklahoma and others. It's a big offer for me. I'm really grateful to have an offer from them. "I'm taking my time. My recruit- ing process just started in September; that's when I got my first offer and started talking to coaches. I've racked up a lot of offers in a short amount of time. It's a blessing." — Mike Singer Notre Dame offered Snellville (Ga.) Brookwood class of 2022 wide re- ceiver De'Nylon Morrissette Nov. 22 and quickly made a strong impres- sion on the four-star prospect. When asked which schools that have been in contact with him the most, Morrissette mentioned Notre Dame along with Alabama, Geor- gia, Georgia Tech, O r e g o n , P e n n State and South Carolina. " I re a l l y l i k e t h e i r r e c e i v e r s coach [Del Alex- ander]," Morris- sette said. "He's a really cool dude to talk to, easy guy to talk to. Them making the College Football Playoff impressed me. Be- fore the season, I didn't think they'd be all the way up there, but that re- ally impressed me. "Coach Alexander is pretty cool. He's straightforward. He doesn't care about all of the hype and stuff. He seems like a great guy." It will be an uphill battle for Notre Dame to eventually win Morris- sette's recruitment as he admittedly grew up an Alabama fan. He also has plenty of connections to the in-state Georgia Bulldogs. Alexander even felt that Alabama might be tough to beat, so before he offered he asked if the Irish had a shot. "He texted me and asked if I was about to commit to Alabama, and he said, 'What do I have to do to get in that top group?'" Morrissette recalled. "And that was before they offered me, so I said, 'If y'all offer me, you got it.' "He talked to me later that night and offered me." The 6-2, 187-pounder is good friends with Notre Dame's tight end commit in the 2022 class, which could help the Irish. "Jack Nickel has been talking to me about Notre Dame, too," Morrissette noted. "As soon as they offered, he said, 'Come on man — be Irish.'" Morrissette wasn't too focused on his recruiting process during his ju- nior season, which he felt went well. He caught 63 passes for 824 yards and seven touchdowns in just nine games played. "It was amazing. We had a good season, but we fell short in the first round," he noted. "I improved on my one-on-one balls, and I showed that I can win those matchups." But with his junior season in the rearview mirror, Morrissette plans to cut down his list to seven programs Feb. 1, and Notre Dame is a fringe school to make the group. If Morris- sette does place the Irish among his top contenders and visits open up later this spring, then Notre Dame could at least have a chance to overtake the SEC powers in his recruitment. — Mike Singer Notre Dame Offer Makes Impact On Four-Star Defensive End Irish Looking To Make A Move For Talented Georgia Receiver DJ WESOLAK ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ Boonville H.S. Boonville, Mo. Status: Offered Class: 2022 Position: Defensive End Ht.: 6-5 • Wt.: 225 Rivals Rankings: No. 8 player in Missouri, and No. 13 weak-side defensive end and No. 248 overall player nationally DE'NYLON MORRISSETTE ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ Brookwood H.S. Snellville, Ga. Status: Offered Class: 2022 Position: Wide Receiver Ht.: 6-2 • Wt.: 187 Rivals Rankings: No. 24 player in Georgia, and No. 22 wide receiver and No. 212 overall player nationally

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