It doesn’t take long to realize that Notre Dame signee Jafar Armstrong is wise beyond his years. Shortly after signing his letter of intent to play football at the University of Notre Dame, Armstrong tweeted “this is by far the best day of my life.” Armstrong, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound wide receiver out of Bishop Miege High School located in Roeland Park, Kansas, has the Irish coaching staff excited for what he will do both on the football field and as a person at Notre Dame.
A former University of Missouri commit, Armstrong said Notre Dame’s campus felt like home. When asked about what made him ultimately choose Notre Dame, he was quick to discuss the ways Notre Dame could help him fulfill dreams outside of football. “It came down to the wire,” Armstrong said. “I wasn’t sure where I was going when I took my official visit to Notre Dame, but when I realized I had the chance to go to Notre Dame for free, it was an easy decision. Notre Dame has one of the best business schools in the country. Coming out of Notre Dame with a business degree, you can get a job anywhere.”
Armstrong went on to say that enrolling at Notre Dame will give him the opportunity to develop as an individual as well as a football player: “On my visit, I spent the most time with Coach [DelVaughn] Alexander and Coach [Chip] Long. They’re going to build me not only as an athlete, but as a human being.” Clearly, football had plenty to do with it, as well. Armstrong went on to say that “they run my type of offense. I’m excited to come and make plays for them.”
Just days before the best day of his life, however, Armstrong had to make one of the most difficult decisions of his life: de-committing from the University of Missouri. Armstrong had this to say about that decision: “[The decision] was hardest thing I’ve had to do in my 18-year life.” After the news of his de-commitment, Armstrong received a great deal of backlash on social media, which he handled in stride: “I was dead set on going to Mizzou, but you know, sometimes there are different plans. It’s all business. That’s what people on twitter don’t understand.” Armstrong understands the criticism, but is at peace with his decision.
Before enrolling at Notre Dame, Armstrong says he wants to work on his quickness and being explosive while running his routes. He certainly has the tools to do that. Armstrong’s success on the footballl field was coupled with success in track and field. In 2016, Armstrong won Kansas 4A state championships in the 100 meters with a time of 10.83 seconds and the 200 meters with a time of 22.13.
Armstrong will be joining high school teammate Colin Grunhard in South Bend next fall.
Finally, when asked about his current favorite place on Notre Dame’s campus, Armstrong didn’t hesitate in mentioning the Hesburgh Memorial Library (affectionately known as “Touchdown Jesus”) and the Golden Dome: “I’ve always heard about Touchdown Jesus and the Golden Dome, but I never understood the hype. I was kind of like ‘whatever,’ but when I got there and saw it in person, I was just in awe.”
If first impressions hold true, Armstrong brings a maturity to the incoming class of freshmen that simply cannot be coached or taught. While Armstrong is ecstatic to make South Bend his home for the next four years, Notre Dame fans should be equally ecstatic to see him donning a gold helmet.