Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 3, 2016

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

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Page 48 of 55 OCT. 3, 2016 49 Irish head coach Mike Brey wanted Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha Catholic four-star forward D.J. Harvey. And Brey made sure the 6-7, 180-pounder knew how much he wanted him by recruiting Harvey as hard as he could throughout the entire process. The tireless effort of Brey and the rest of the Notre Dame coach- ing staff paid off when Harvey, the No. 51 overall player in the 2017 class according to Rivals, announced Sept. 20 he was heading to South Bend next fall. Harvey noticed the effort Brey and company put in during the process. "They made sure I was their No. 1 priority, and they kept showing me," Harvey said. "That didn't go unno- ticed. So when it came down to the nitty gritty time they were always on the top spot. Them sticking with me through thick and thin never went unnoticed. "I have a great relationship with the coaching staff. They've always been there from the beginning. Not just Coach Brey, but the whole coach- ing staff. I got to know them on a per- sonal level. Coach Brey hasn't missed a single summer event I've had. He's just made sure to show his interest in me." With the loss of seniors Steve Vas- turia and V.J. Beachem at the con- clusion of the 2016-17 season, Brey hoped to land a prospect who could step in right away and fill the void Vasturia and Beachem will leave behind. The Irish want Harvey to take on the challenge of replacing the talented seniors when the time comes. It is one of the reasons he wound up the first member of Notre Dame's 2017 class. "Notre Dame was the best choice for me because they expect me to contribute a lot and they want me to take on that leading scorer role and come in and do what I do," Harvey said. "Also, it's not just the basketball side. Off the court, academics there are great. They have the No. 2 busi- ness school in the country, and I'm trying to major in business. "I just feel they can develop me into a great man." Ultimately, the decision for Harvey came down to the two schools he vis- ited last: Notre Dame and Alabama. He toured Alabama just days before his decision. Though he said it was a difficult choice, he stuck with his gut and rolled with the Irish. "I've kind of always known," Harvey said when asked when he realized he would commit to Notre Dame. "I really knew after my offi- cial visit. I was like, 'This is my home and this is where I belong, Notre Dame is the spot for me.' "I just felt like at Notre Dame I re- ally would get to show my stuff and prepare myself to achieve that goal of playing in the NBA." Harvey believes Notre Dame's style of offense gives him a great op- portunity to hone his skills and con- tinue working towards achieving his NBA aspirations. "They really don't run an offense," Harvey said of the Irish. "They run a NBA-style offense with a lot of off-ball screens and pick-and-rolls. I think I can flourish a lot just being able to spread my wings and take guys one-on-one." During his official visit Sept. 9-11, Harvey bonded with the Notre Dame players, who made him feel he belonged in South Bend. He also played pickup basketball with the team and believes he showcased his skill set well. "It was great," Harvey said of the experience. "You could tell right away I'm definitely ready for college ball. I held my own taking guys off the dribble. "I feel like playing with those guys really showed me where I'm needed. It was a great decision." As of now, Harvey is the only se- nior committed to play for the Irish next fall. He is hoping to change that with another player hailing from the state of Maryland. "I'm trying to get Darryl Morsell [6-3 shooting guard out of Baltimore Mount St. Joseph] right now. He's a big target on Notre Dame's list, and they are real high on his list," Harvey said. "I think we're going good with him. I just told him we'd be a force to reckon with in the ACC." The DeMatha and Notre Dame connection also played a role in Har- vey's recruitment. Both Brey and associate head coach Rod Balanis attended and played at DeMatha along with former Irish greats Adrian Dantley, a two-time consensus All-American and Nai- smith Basketball Hall of Fame mem- ber, and current Chicago Bulls guard Jerian Grant. — Corey Bodden COMMITMENT PROFILE D.J. HARVEY "THEY MADE SURE I WAS THEIR NO. 1 PRIORITY, AND THEY KEPT SHOWING ME. THAT DIDN'T GO UNNOTICED." HARVEY Four-Star Forward And Nation's No. 51 Player Picks Irish Harvey was an honorable mention Washington Post All-Met selection as a junior at DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville, Md. PHOTO BY JON LOPEZ/NIKE

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