Chance to play early draws Cass Tech’s Gervin to Irish

David Goricki
The Detroit News
Kalon Gervin

Kalon Gervin was more than a little impressed with what he saw and heard on his trip to Notre Dame this past weekend.

In fact, Gervin – a four-star cornerback from Detroit Cass Tech who received an offer from the Irish a week ago – called Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly Sunday afternoon when he returned home and told him that he planned on attending and playing for the program.

Gervin, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound junior, helped Cass Tech to the Division 1 state championship this past fall, earning a spot on The News' All-Detroit first-team after breaking up 14 passes and intercepting a pass.

Gervin is ranked as the No. 1 cornerback in Michigan and No. 28 nationally at his position by He picked the Irish over Michigan, Michigan State, Tennessee, LSU, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and several other top schools.

Gervin took the trip with Farmington Hills Harrison junior linebacker Ovie Oghoufo, who committed to Notre Dame this past fall.

“I went on Junior Day, spent the whole weekend up there,” Gervin said during a phone interview after school Monday. “We had meetings with the coaches. They took us around campus and we went to the basketball game Saturday night. That game was sweet (Irish beat nationally ranked Florida State). The place was packed. I had a great time.”

So, how did Kelly react when told of the news Gervin planned on playing for the Irish?

"He was very excited, very excited," Gervin said.

And, on his reason to play at Notre Dame?

"First and foremost is the education. It’s second to none," Gervin said. "Then, they have some great coaches, great defensive coaches. Coach Todd Lyght is my position coach and he keeps it real and that’s important to me."

Kelly failed to sign a cornerback during National Signing Day earlier this month, making that a need after Mansfield (Tex.) High's Paulson Adebo decommitted from Notre Dame on Jan. 9 and then La Mirada (Calif.) High's Elijah Hicks flipped the following day. Adebo signed with Stanford and Hicks with California.

“That’s real big with me,” said Gervin when asked if that played a role in his decision. “I’m going to have to play early, so that’s big. I feel my speed and my versatility are my strengths. I can do pretty much everything.”

Gervin, who runs a 4.4 second 40-yard dash, plans to return kicks during his senior year at Cass Tech with Donovan Peoples-Jones (Michigan) and Donovan Johnson (Penn State) graduating.

Lyght, a former two-time All-American cornerback at Notre Dame and Super Bowl champion with the Rams, said his goal was to get into the Detroit and Houston metro areas to get recruits.

No doubt, Lyght got a great one in Gervin, who has a 3.2 GPA and plans to study communications and journalism at Notre Dame.

Twitter: @DavidGoricki