Point Beach senior point guard Matt Farrell had been mulling over a verbal commitment to Notre Dame on Tuesday when a trip home after school sealed the deal.

"My grandfather went to Notre Dame, so it's always been a special place in our family,'' Farrell said. "Today I just knew it was the right place. I came home and my grandfather was there at my house with his Notre Dame shirt on and that kind of sealed it. It's a great opportunity."

Point Beach's Matt Farrell has verbally committed to Notre Dame. (Photo by Sport Shots WLB)
Point Beach's Matt Farrell has verbally committed to Notre Dame. (Photo by Sport Shots WLB)

Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey came to a state playoff game last week to see Farrell play in person and then offered him on Sunday night. Farrell also had offers from the likes of Fordham, Rutgers and St. Joseph's as well as interest from Creighton, Providence and others.

Farrell had been out to Notre Dame in recent years because he and his older brother are friends with former Immaculata star Theo Riddick, who played football for the Fighting Irish.

"Once they started recruiting me, it was a big thing,'' Farrell said. "I knew it was a special place. Today I just knew it was the right place. When the head coach comes to see you, it's definitely a good thing. I just wanted to make sure I played my game and afterward I had a great talk with him for a decent amount of time."

He will join a Fighting Irish program that currently includes freshman point guard Demetrius Jackson, who is averaging 22 minutes per game and has started 15 of 29 games.

"Coach Brey has talked to me about that,'' Farrell said. "He knows how I play and the type of game that I play. I try to get other people involved. He said Jackson and I can play together on the floor. It's going to be very versatile."

This season, Farrell has already been named the Kerwin Award winner as the Shore Conference's top player and been unanimously voted the Shore Conference Player of the Year by the coaches for the top-ranked Garnet Gulls, who won their second straight NJSIAA Central Jersey Group I title on Monday. They will play Pitman in the Group I semifinals on Wednesday at Pine Belt Arena in Toms River.

"It feels great to have this over with now,'' Farrell said. "When it really got crazy was when all the big schools started coming in and calling me and things were spreading like crazy. Now I just can focus on my team and winning."

Farrell initially verbally committed to Boston College in October, but re-opened his recruitment before eventually committing to another ACC school in Notre Dame.

"I felt like I rushed that decision, and I wasn't really comfortable,'' Farrell said. "I had a feeling that I didn't really make the right decision. My dad and my brother told me the same thing. They said, 'You know, just go with your gut,' so I decided to go with my gut, and it worked out. Now I have such a great opportunity."


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