The NDP class of 2020 gained four Division 1 college football commitments before the 2019-2020 school year even started with potentially several more coming by the start of spring ball. 

Notre Dame’s senior commits include defensive end Spencer Roy, middle linebacker Brock Locnikar, right guard and nose tackle Cade Bennett, and linebacker Connor Butt. 

Spencer Roy, a commit to the United States Military Academy at West Point, said that “There were many factors that influenced my decision to go to West Point. First off, the opportunity to serve my country was a driving factor in this decision. Also, the high level of education the school offers, as well as competitive football are huge attractors. I know getting into West Point is something some people work all their lives for, so I couldn’t let my own hard work go to waste by passing up this opportunity.” 

Roy was also recruited by Yale, Navy, Brown, and Holy Cross. When asked about his top choices, he stated that “Brown was my number two, and having an offer from there would have made my decision more difficult. I took visits to Harvard, Yale, Brown, Penn, Holy Cross, Navy and Army. I was impressed by every school I saw, but to me none trumped the atmosphere and campus of West Point.” 

Brock Locnikar committed to Harvard University at the end of May. He said, “I chose to commit to Harvard because it provided me with the best opportunity after I graduate. It also sends the most players to the NFL from an FCS division 1 football team. This impressed me a lot.” 

Harvard is one of the eight Ivy League universities and is known for its academic rigor. To get through academics and football, Locnikar said, “I plan to focus all of my time and energy on taking advantage of what Harvard has to offer. I would like to receive high grades and major in Economics. I also would like to connect with people of all backgrounds to broaden my horizons.” 

To get to the elite level Locnikar is at, academically and physically, it takes a lot of hard work. Locnikar’s summer routine included working “out for up to 4 hours a day in the off-season. I trained speed and strength training to elevate my training. I also studied extremely hard so I was eligible to get recruited by these schools. During season, I practice for 3 hours and train for 1.5 hours afterwards for strength training.” 

Notre Dame’s right guard and nose tackle Cade Bennett committed to Oklahoma State this summer. He stated that the reasons he chose Oklahoma State included that “Oklahoma State’s family oriented culture is something I’ve never witnessed anywhere else. The coaching staff and environment is unbeatable. It fits my play style and Coach Dickey is the best man around.” 

Bennett describes the recruiting process as “something I will never forget, truly a blessing to experience things most kids only dream of.” When it comes to playing college football, Bennett said, “I’m excited to prove myself on and off the field and work to play in the NFL.” He hopes to start as a center or offensive guard for the Cowboys next season. 

*Connor Butt did not respond to interview questions; he will attend West Point.