Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 10, 2014

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

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Page 82 of 114

BY TOM LOY Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., four-star linebacker Tevon Coney had a deci- sion to make — stay close to home in the Florida sunshine or deal with the harsh winters in South Bend, Ind. The 6-1, 222-pounder committed to Notre Dame over Florida, Ohio State, Oregon, Miami and many others Oct. 24, making what he called "the tough decision." "It was a great fit for me," the class of 2015 recruit said. "The Irish are do- ing good. I think [Notre Dame head coach] Brian Kelly's program is on the rise. I want to be a part of a successful program and do some great things. I love Coach Kelly and it's a great sup- port staff up there. "They want you to graduate and get a degree, and find a great job outside of football. "It wasn't easy. It's hard to leave home. I talked to my father [Tim Co- ney] and [Irish running backs coach] Tony Alford, and they both told me the same thing. They said that I can make the easy decision and go to Florida or the tough decision and go to Notre Dame. "Florida is still a great school. I al- ways love and watch them every Sat- urday. I just thought that I needed to go somewhere more stable where the coaching staff is definitely going to be there. I also wanted to go away for school and focus more on the impor- tant things." Prior to his decision, Coney and his family had some long, intense discus- sions about his three finalists — Notre Dame, Florida and Miami. In the end, everyone agreed that it was best for Coney to pledge to the Irish. "My parents and I just talked about the pros and the cons about each school," he said. "We were trying to figure out which school best fits me and my personality. We were looking Native Floridian Makes 'Tough Decision' To Be Irish COMMITMENT PROFILE TEVON CONEY FILM ANALYSIS Strengths Physicality and toughness are Tevon Coney's best traits … His love for contact and abusing the opponents is hard to match … For a player of his size, he moves well, and his ability to change direction is a plus … Has the body and mass too contribute early in South Bend … Possesses quick feet and has good sideline-to-sideline speed … Has a big, solid lower body and build … Is a good, natural athlete with loose hips and is a very sound tackler. Areas For Improvement Coney lacks great speed and could struggle in coverage against smaller, quicker players … Doesn't possess ideal height … Shouldn't have difficulty with pad level, but he struggles to be the low man at times … Needs to work on shed- ding and avoiding blockers, rather than engaging his opponent. — Tom Loy

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