Blue and Gold Illustrated

January 2024

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

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40 JANUARY 2024 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED FOOTBALL RECRUITING BY KYLE KELLY A nthony Rezac put pressure on his brother Teddy Rezac. The twin brothers starred as seniors on the Omaha (Neb.) Westside football team. The 6-foot-3½, 185-pound Teddy reported his first Power Five scholar- ship offer from Boston College April 11. Meanwhile, Anthony, an elusive runner and prolific passer, reeled in offers dur- ing the spring from the three military academies: Air Force, Army and Navy. However, the prominence of Teddy's college football recruitment pieced to- gether faster than Anthony's. So, when Teddy received a scholarship offer May 6 to play football for the University of Notre Dame, Anthony was adamant that he should take it. "I was like, 'Dude, you need to com- mit. That's super cool,'" said Anthony, recalling when the Fighting Irish entered his brother's recruitment. "'Go to Notre Dame before they give that spot away.'" Six days and a trip to South Bend later, Teddy, a three-star recruit, locked in his spot in the program's 2024 recruiting class. The nation's No. 71 linebacker and the No. 8 prospect in Nebraska pledged to the Irish over other offers from Mis- souri and the in-state Cornhuskers. Anthony continued to pile up his offers, mostly from Ivy League schools. Still, the Westside High coaching staff pushed for Power Five schools' interest in who they considered the state's top passer. As a junior, he guided his team to a 12-1 record and a state championship in Nebraska's top classification (Class A). In those 13 games, he connected on 168 of 250 throws (67.2 percent) for 2,239 yards with 19 touchdowns and 4 in- terceptions. Rezac added another 1,118 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground with 160 carries. As a senior, Westside went 13-0 and repeated as state champions, with Rezac accounting for 3,247 yards of total of- fense and 46 touchdowns (30 passing, 16 rushing). But no Power Five programs would bite on the 6-foot-3½, 190-pounder. That was until the family unofficially visited Notre Dame for the Ohio State game Sept. 23. B e fo re t h e p ro g ra m 's m a rq u e e matchup with the Buckeyes, Irish quar- terbacks coach Gino Guidugli offered Anthony a spot on the roster as a pre- ferred walk-on (PWO). Still, Anthony was unsure of the legitimacy behind it. A few days later, director of recruiting Chad Bowden contacted Anthony to as- sure him it was. On Sept. 26, Anthony announced his PWO opportunity from Notre Dame on social media. He held out hope there would be more Power Five interest. Sure enough, Kansas came along, and he paid an unofficial visit to Lawrence when the Jayhawks faced Oklahoma State Oct. 7. But he left the visit unclear of the program's intentions. Luckily, there was an upcoming return visit to South Bend on the schedule. The Rezac family returned to Notre Dame for the USC game Oct. 14. An- thony saw everything he needed. He privately accepted his PWO spot about a week after the game. He publicly an- nounced his verbal commitment Nov. 28. It was a decision he made basically about six months earlier when he pushed his brother toward pledging to the Irish. "The combination of athletics and academics makes it hard to beat," An- thony said. "Obviously, they're a super prestigious school with a lot of history. They've also had a lot of success on the football field. "Then, the two game days I went to, they were electric. The fans were in it the entire game. The stadium was rock- ing. I could just see myself playing there eventually." Anthony's college commitment came down to relationships and post-college career aspirations. Notre Dame gave him the best of both. During his recruitment, Bowden kept in regular contact with him. Head coach Marcus Freeman even reached out a few times. "Every interaction I've had with Coach Freeman, he makes me feel like he really wants me at Notre Dame," An- thony said. "He cares about me." Anthony considered committing to an Ivy League school. However, he noted the Harvards and Dartmouths of the world did not offer an undergradu- ate business degree. The opportunity to earn one from Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business was unparalleled. Ultimately, a Notre Dame degree and the opportunity to play high-level foot- ball made continuing his athletic career with the Irish a no-brainer. "The level of football at Notre Dame made it easy to pick," he said. "I want to compete at the highest level." Although Anthony and Teddy have been inseparable since birth, Anthony said he decided to commit to Notre Dame independently from his brother. After all, he was the one pushing Teddy to end up in South Bend from the start. "I think we both came to the decision of Notre Dame on our own," Anthony said. "It provides a lot of opportunity for who- ever goes there and whatever you decide to do in life, whether playing football past college or going out in the real world. "If Teddy had not gone to Notre Dame and I received this opportunity, I still would have taken it. I don't think he played too much of a factor into it. It's cool that he is going to be there too, but this was the best opportunity for me, and it just so happened to work out that it's the best opportunity for him as well." ✦ Anthony Rezac To Join His Twin Brother At Notre Dame Rezac accounted for 3,247 yards of total offense and 46 touchdowns as a senior in 2023, while leading Omaha (Neb.) Westside to its second straight Class A state championship. PHOTO BY KYLE KELLY

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