Justin Walters
Justin Walters

Complex decisions can't always be boiled down quickly and efficiently.

But in the case of Bolingbrook defensive back Justin Walters, the decision to make a commitment to Notre Dame was just that.

"I was talking to a defensive grad assistant and he was just mentioning that when you know, you just know," Walters said. "And I went home that night, and I started talking about the visit and recruiting in general and I knew what I wanted."

Walters initially intended to take all of his allotted five visits (he had only made an unofficial visit to Indiana prior to Notre Dame), but being a young man who clearly believes in being straight forward and to the point, once the decision was basically made it was made.

"I didn't want to waste my time or any of these other coaches time if I knew that's where I wanted to go. So I just decided to pull the trigger," Walters said. "Ever since that visit that was just I knew. Going into the day, I still wanted to take all five of my visits, but after the visit, I was like, why would I do that? I didn't want to give everybody else false hope when I already knew what I wanted."

A visit to Notre Dame's game against New Mexico practically sealed the deal, and if it hadn't interaction with a pair of current Fighting Irish helped make sure things got cemented.

"I also got to talk to two players I got to talk to Houston Griffith, who is obviously an experienced player and I also got to talk to a freshman that just enrolled three weeks ago. I got to learn about both of their experiences, and hearing them, knowing that the community was really tight-knit. They care about each other there, and that just helped in making the decision."

Walters sought out a program where he felt like it was a community environment and he's pretty sure he's found it.

"The community and the people stood out," Walters said. "Coach (Head Coach Brian) Kelly, coach (Safeties coach Terry) Josephs and coach (Defensive Coordinator Clark) Lea, they all made me feel very welcomed. It's something I've always looked for and wanted to find."

Most of all, Walters expressed relief that the process was effectively over with his commitment.

"I was definitely one of the people who didn't enjoy it. I just always over-think things and stress myself out," Walters said. "I'm one of the people that I don't want to tell coaches no. I'm probably going to be reaching out to coaches to thank them for believing in me. I'm definitely relieved that this is over."

On top of that, the early commitment puts some ease in his mind in regard to constantly worried about what he place might be moving forward.

"Coach Joseph told me that he's only signing two safeties out of this class, and once you are committed to them, they are committed to you," Walters said. "That just made it easier. I know that if I committed to there they weren't going to be looking for other people to try and replace me."

And now Walters can focus on rounding his game without the spectre of worrying about where the path will lead him to.

"I'm going to be working on my speed and try to gain some size. I am going to try to be up to 185 pounds my season," Walters said. "I'm also going to try to work on my leadership skills, I'm kind of a quiet leader, and I want to try to be more vocal."

And while Walters recognizes that this process has landed him a scholarship offer to one of the most storied programs in college football, he's quick to admit it hasn't all sunk in.

"Definitely not. I haven't really taken it in," Walters said. "You know on the surface that it's Notre Dame, but it hasn't really hit me yet."