Lakota West standout commits to Notre Dame

WEST CHESTER TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Lakota West High School senior wide receiver/safety Ben Minich announced Friday night he has given a verbal commitment to play college football at Notre Dame.

Minich made the announcement on the 247 Sports YouTube channel. He also considered the University of Cincinnati, Oklahoma, Stanford and Kentucky among his other finalists this week.

Minich felt comfortable around the Notre Dame coaching staff including head coach Marcus Freeman. He said Notre Dame was a good academic fit, too.

“I think they just had it all for me,” Minich told 247 Sports. “Great coaching staff. They had my goals in mind. I want to go to the NFL. I want to get a great degree and they have both.”

Minich was named a four-star player by 247 Sports in June. He is ranked the No. 6 player overall in Ohio’s 2023 class by 247 Sports and the nation’s No. 24 safety in his class.

He is known for athleticism at Lakota West, breaking the Lakota West record this spring in the 100-meter dash in the Division I track and field district meet by running a time of 10.47 seconds.

Minich has over a 4.0 grade-point average and has carried a 33 on his ACT test since his sophomore year.

“He can probably ace the darn thing now,” Lakota West coach Tom Bolden said in July. “He’s a team captain. There are kids in the country who run a 10.4. But, there aren’t a lot of kids in the country that run a 10.4 and got a 33 on their ACT when they’re 15 years old. He’s special.”

Minich, a second-team Greater Miami Conference selection in 2021, had 49 tackles (34 solo) last season, according to the conference statistics.

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds last month, Minich had a 76-yard interception return for a touchdown against West Clermont Aug. 27, 2021.

He also returned kickoffs for the Firebirds and caught 16 passes for 251 yards and four touchdowns on offense.

Minich has had scholarship offers from schools that include the University of Cincinnati, Kentucky, Stanford, Indiana, Wake Forest, Duke, Oklahoma and Notre Dame. Minich received the scholarship offer from Notre Dame July 20.

Minich is part of a special secondary that has five players with scholarship offers. That includes senior All-American safety Malik Hartford, who is verbally committed to The Ohio State University. Senior cornerback Josh Fussell is verbally committed to Northwestern.

“The goal is pitch a shutout every game all season,” Minich said in July. “We don’t expect anything less than that. We’re definitely going to come ready and be prepared.”

Lakota West (11-2), a Division I regional runner-up in 2021, plays host to St. Xavier (10-3) in the season opener Aug. 19.

The season opener will be the fourth time Lakota West and St. X have met in a game since the 2020 regional final.

This article is by WCPO, a content partner of Cox First Media.

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