Kalon Gervin didn’t need to wait. Notre Dame felt like home.
Despite being a high school junior at Detroit Cass Tech, the 5-foot-11, 180-pound defensive back committed to play at Notre Dame in 2018, passing up Michigan and Michigan State, among other would-be suitors.
Gervin, rated by rivals.com as Michigan’s No.2 prospect for 2018 and No. 90 overall in the nation, made an unofficial visit to Notre Dame this past weekend, his second unofficial trip to South Bend, Ind., and told coach Brian Kelly, defensive coordinator Michael Elko and defensive backs coach Todd Lyght he planned to commit.
After driving back to Detroit on Sunday, Gervin and his mother, Djuna Gervin, called Kelly and officially made his commitment. He announced his decision on Twitter on Monday morning from Cass Tech.
Gervin, a four-star prospect who spoke to the Free Press on Monday evening, also made an unofficial trip to Notre Dame for its spring game last year, where he initially met Lyght — the former Flint Powers Catholic standout — and other coaches.
“It’s big-time,” Gervin said of picking the Irish. “You just get that feeling when you like something. That’s the feeling I had when I got there.”
Gervin narrowed his finalists to Florida, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Oklahoma, all of which made scholarship offers.
He took unofficial visits to Michigan State and Notre Dame.
“It was close,” Gervin said of his final schools. “Between Notre Dame, Michigan State, Oklahoma and Florida, it was very close.
“First and foremost, we looked at education, so I had to look at what’s going to help prepare me for life after football. And, of course, the atmosphere when I went down there was great. We looked at everything across the board.”
Gervin looked hard at Michigan State, but never built a rapport with Michigan.
“I love State. They’ll always be in my heart, but it’s a business decision,” he said. “I felt like Notre Dame would be best for me. The education there is great, second to none. I’m not bashing Michigan State, but there’s levels to everything. It was a business decision.”
Despite making his verbal commitment to Notre Dame, Gervin can’t sign his letter of intent until next February. He also made his choice without taking any official visits.
“I’m not about to tell other coaches to stop talking to me, but I’m 100% committed to Notre Dame,” he said. “I’m not going to tell a school, ‘Hey, look, stop talking to me.’ That’s not right.”
Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher supported Gervin’s decision.
“You have to make sure a kid understands what he wants,” Wilcher said. “If you feel comfortable with what you want, and happy that you’ll get what you need, do it. Now you get a chance to say, ‘Hey, I don’t have to worry about this. I don’t have to worry that. I’m comfortable.’”
Gervin wasn’t turned off by Notre Dame’s 4-8 record last season. The Irish made the 2013 national championship game and lost to Alabama.
“You can’t base a commitment off a record,” he said. “Notre Dame was recently in the national championship a few years ago. I’m not basing those decisions off a record. When I go there, I’m going to be successful in life, period.”