Middleton's Jesse commits to Notre Dame

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By: 
Rob Reischel
Middleton track and field standout Jack Jesse recently gave a verbal commitment to Notre Dame./Photo submitted

Jack Jesse began turning heads last spring, with a record-setting track and field season.

Jesse set a Middleton High School record with a leap of 23 feet, 2 ½ inches in the long jump. He finished fifth at state in that same event.

Jesse’s brilliant season drew the attention of coaches near and far. And after a hectic few months trying to determine his future, Jesse recently gave a verbal commitment to Notre Dame.

Jesse will sign his national letter of intent next Wednesday.

“I'm extremely excited to get down to Notre Dame next fall and begin training with the team,” Jesse said. “And although my attention is still focused on mine and my friends’ final year of high school track, this serves as just one more motivation to train hard until that time comes.”

Effort has never been an issue for Jesse.

Jesse was a solid contributor his first two years in the track and field program. Jesse was third in the long jump at the Big Eight Conference meet as a sophomore (20-9 ½), but didn’t get out of regionals that season.

Jesse had a breakout junior year, though, and caught the eyes of recruiters across the country.

Jesse, a terrific student, drew interest from several schools in the Ivy League and the Big Ten Conference. He also communicated with Stanford of the Pac 10 Conference and some military schools.

Eventually, Jesse took official visits to Notre Dame, the University of Wisconsin, Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania.

Shortly thereafter, his decision became crystal clear.

“It took only a couple days for my parents and I to make the final decision,” Jesse said. “Although I had had a lot of fun and was impressed by every school, Notre Dame was the best option for me when every factor was considered.

“The academics are fantastic and I that was probably my first priority. But beyond that, the guys on the team are great athletes and even nicer guys.”

Jesse also bonded quickly with Fighting Irish head coach Alan Turner and jumps coach Jim Garnham, which played a major role in his decision.

When Jesse added it all up, Notre Dame made the most sense.

“They really value and care about me, and I appreciate that support a lot,” Jesse said of Notre Dame’s coaches. “Additionally, coming from a sport-intensive school like Middleton has taught me to appreciate other athletes beyond those in my sport, so it's nice to be going to a school with competitive major sports like football, basketball and hockey.

“I really want to thank the Middleton High School track and field program and all of its coaches for everything they've given me. And I've got to give a shoutout to my team as well because they've made high school track the time of my life. As cliché as it may sound, we really are like a family.”

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