Notre Dame received their third pledge in as many days today when Markese Stepp committed. The 6'0 205 lb running back becomes the second commit in the 2018 class, joining quarterback Phil Jurkovec. Stepp plays for Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, IN alongside fellow Notre Dame LB commit Pete Werner.
Stepp orginially planned to wait until the fall to make a final college decision, but after another wonderful trip to South Bend, he decided to jump on board now. It is a great get for the coaching staff to land an in-state product early in the process. With a highly ranked QB and RB now locked in, the 2018 offensive recruiting class is off to a terrific start.
Recruiting Service Rankings
Rivals - NA
247 - 4 star, #210 National, #12 RB, #2 in IN
247 Composite -NA
Scout - 4 star
ESPN - NA
Markese chose Notre Dame over offers from Michigan State, Iowa, Wisconsin, Duke, Indiana, Tennessee, and others.
From the tape, there is a lot to like about Stepp's game. He shows very good patience and vision. Many of his long runs from his film are from him bouncing it to the outside and beating people around the edge. This will be much harder to do at the college level, but his vision and recognition is encouraging. He also shows good lateral jumping ability, especially for his stature. In Notre Dame's zone running scheme, this will be extremely advantageous for him. He should be able to add some weight and play at 215-220 lbs. At the 2:00 mark of his film, Markese shows his strong running capabilities. He does a great job keeping his legs moving on contact and driving through defenders.
One main area to improve on will likely be his speed. He outruns most people in his film, but he doesn't look to be a burner and will be up against top tier defensive backfields when he steps on the field for the Irish. Also, the pass blocking aspect of being a college RB seems to always be a large adjustment and can be the main factor in getting on the field or watching from the sidelines.
Stepp's immediate impact will likely be predicated on what becomes of the RB spot in the 2017 class. With that being said, it seems like Autry Denson is content on playing multiple running backs, so Stepp should come to campus with the hopes of playing right away in the fall of 2018. By that time, too, Josh Adams could be on an NFL roster.
Welcome to the Irish family, Mr. Stepp!