Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 18, 2021

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

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44 SEPT. 18, 2021 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED PREP PROFILES Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep class of 2023 offensive lineman Chase Bisontis was lucky enough to visit a few colleges while he was a freshman in high school and before the 15-month-long dead pe- riod went into place due to COVID-19. He saw Boston College, Rutgers and West Virginia. Once the dead period lifted in June, the four-star prospect hit the road for visits to Alabama, Maryland, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State and Rut- gers. He loved getting out to see those programs. The first trip he took was to Notre Dame June 6 for Irish Invasion. As the nation's No. 29 recruit and No. 2 offen- sive guard who holds nearly 40 schol- arship offers, Bisontis certainly didn't need to camp at Notre Dame to prove his talents. That much is already estab- lished. He participated in the Irish camp for a different reason. "I chose to because I wanted to see and understand how Coach [ Jeff ] Quinn coaches his guys," Bisontis said. "I wanted to learn new technique and things like that." It seems that Bisontis enjoyed the ex- perience with Quinn and Co. "I learned new things about pass blocking, and I like the way he coaches," noted Bisontis. "I had a good camp, too." Bisontis wasn't at Notre Dame just for the camp. He spent two days in South Bend to get the full experience of what ND can offer him as a student-athlete. "I got to meet the whole staff, and I had academic and football presenta- tions," said Bisontis. "It was awesome learning about their degrees and the academic help you can get. That's really important. "I'm very highly interested. It was awesome talking to Coach [Brian] Kelly too. I'm trying to come back as well." Bisontis has a strong relationship with Quinn. Before Sept. 1 — the first day college coaches were allowed to start directly contacting class of 2023 recruits — Bisontis and Quinn had calls every Wednesday. Now, they can text message and have calls even more often. "We talk football, but we also talk personal life," Bisontis explained. "He loves fishing, and I've sent him a few pictures of me fishing. We talk about what we're doing in our free time and how Notre Dame is a great place. I can get better off the field as a young man there too." Bisontis noted that Quinn has talked to him about playing tackle at Notre Dame, but it "varies by school" whether he'll be a guard or tackle in college. — Mike Singer Malik Elzy couldn't stay for the food at Notre Dame's July 27 "Grill and Chill" event, but he didn't need to. The 2023 four-star Chicago Simeon wide receiver has already learned plenty about Notre Dame's opportunities, football program and the coaching staff. He met receivers coach Del Alexander and offensive coordinator Tommy Rees, his primary recruiters at Notre Dame. He met other Irish recruits. He toured the facilities. The visit left a strong impression. "Notre Dame has a beautiful campus, and it's a beautiful school," Elzy said. "The coaches are down to earth. Coach Del is cool." One appealing aspect of Notre Dame to Elzy, though, had nothing to do with what happened once he arrived. Rather, it caught his attention before he even got to campus. When he left to go on the visit, he learned South Bend was only about 90 minutes from his Chicago home. He ex- pected a much longer drive. "That plays a big part, being close so my family can watch me play games," Elzy said. Notre Dame became an even more re- alistic option when the Irish offered him in early August. He has been in contact with Rees and Alexander since earlier this summer, and his conversations with them have been enjoyable. They were among the coaches to reach out to Elzy on Sept. 1, the first day coaches could directly call class of 2023 recruits. "They like to talk," Elzy said. "They're fun guys, fun coaches. It was real nice meeting them and getting to know them." Elzy's recruitment took off after his sophomore season, which was moved to spring 2021 due to Illinois' COVID-19 restrictions. The 6-3, 198-pound Elzy has nearly 15 offers — Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Michigan State, Mis- sissippi, Missouri, Purdue, Nebraska, Tennessee and Wisconsin are among them. He saw several of those schools this summer on unofficial visits. In addition to Notre Dame, that sum- mer visit tour included stops at Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska. He said he's planning fall game-day visits to Notre Dame, Ole Miss and Nebraska, though he has not set dates for them yet. All told, it's still early in the recruit- ing process for Elzy, who ranks as the No. 181 player in the 2023 class regard- less of position and the No. 28 receiver. "I'm 100 percent still open," Elzy said. "About the time I start my senior year, I'll probably have my decision made." — Patrick Engel Nation's No. 2 Guard Speaks Highly Of Notre Dame Four-Star Receiver Is An Early Priority For Notre Dame MALIK ELZY ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ Simeon H.S. Chicago Status: Offered Class: 2023 Position: Wide receiver Ht.: 6-3 • Wt.: 198 Rivals Rankings: No. 3 player in Chicago, and No. 28 wide receiver and No. 181 overall player nationally CHASE BISONTIS ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ Don Bosco Prep Ramsey, N.J. Status: Offered Class: 2023 Position: Offensive lineman Ht.: 6-5 • Wt.: 290 Rivals Rankings: No. 1 player in New Jersey, and No. 2 offensive guard and No. 29 overall player nationally

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