Norcross defensive end Robert Beal committed to Notre Dame on Sunday night. He’s been favorably compared to UGA standout Lorenzo Carter and was a huge priority for the 2017 class. His father Robert Beal, Sr. said he committed during a phone call to Notre Dame defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder.
“Coach Van Gorder was very excited,” Beal, Sr. said. “That surprised him that Robert committed so early. He was very excited about it and said that maybe since (Robert) committed maybe some of the other top guys from Georgia will now also consider Notre Dame.”
The timing just made sense, he said.
“His mind was made up,” Beal, Sr., said. “We really didn’t put any pressure on him to commit to any school. Notre Dame was just the school he wanted to go ahead and commit to. We spoke about it as a family before he committed yesterday … We feel pretty good about it. We’ve got some family up there, too.”
Beal said that UGA and Clemson were also among his son’s top three schools.
“I guess the main thing with Notre Dame is the education,” Beal, Sr., said. “You can’t beat that. If you can come away with a four-year degree from Notre Dame, then you are set for life regardless of what happens for him in football.”
Both UGA and Notre Dame had sent Beal more than 100 recruiting letters in a day. UGA will no doubt continue to recruit Beal very hard, but he’s always been focused on his academics with his recruiting options. The 6-foot-5, 225-pounder has missed some time with a concussion the past two weeks, but when he was on the field he was the definition of a dominating player.
Norcross coach Keith Maloof coached Carter when he was at Norcross and told DawgNation this year that Beal can be every bit as good and probably even a lot better than Carter.
The 4-star junior has been rated as the nation’s No. 3 weak-side defensive end for the Class of 2017.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.