Nov. 22, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - University of Notre Dame men's golf head coach Jim Kubinski announced Friday that two prep players have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Irish men's golf program.
Thomas Steve (Upper St. Clair, Pa.) and Jens Verhey (Reno, Nev.) will be eligible to compete at Notre Dame beginning with the 2014 fall season.
"Our 2014 class is one of high achievement both in the classroom and on the golf course," Kubinski said. "The work ethic and time management skills they've exhibited to date make each player a strong candidate for success here at Notre Dame.
"Both commitments came relatively late, against the new recruiting landscape," he said. "With players making earlier and earlier commitments in just the last few years, our preference to wait out 2014 was a gamble that worked out well for us as both Jens and Thomas began to play their best golf over the last six or seven months. It certainly validated the old adage that good things can come to those who wait."
Thomas Steve 5-11 Right-Handed Upper St. Clair Upper St. Clair, Pa.
PREP AND PERSONAL: Served as the team captain for Upper St. Clair High School during his senior season ... medalist in eight regular-season matches ... won the 2013 WPIAL Section 7 Individual Championship after shooting a three-under-par round of 68 ... third-place finisher at the 2013 WPIAL Individual Championship with another 68 (-2) ... placed 10th at the 2013 Pennsylvania State Individual Finals with a two-round score of 154 ... helped lead Upper St. Clair High to its first-ever team state championship, claiming medalist honors with a round of 70 (E) ... was team medalist in 10 regular-season matches as a junior in 2012 ... 2012 WPIAL Section 7 individual champion, firing a winning score of two-under-par 70 ... medalist at the WPIAL Championship tournament as a sophomore in 2011 (72, E) ... team finished as the runner-up in the 2011 state championship tournament ... enjoyed a banner season on the summer junior circuit in 2013, winning the AJGA Junior Preseason tournament in June with a two-round score of 143 (71-72) ... added six addition top-10 results, including three runner-up finishes ... won three consecutive tournaments during the 2011 summer schedule, which included a final round 67 at the Tri-State Jr. PGA Championship ... has also lettered in basketball and baseball ... participated in Birdies for a Cause, which raised money with each birdie recorded during his junior and senior seasons - 105 birdies netted almost $1,500 for charity ... member of the National Honor Society ... three-year member of Athletes Taking Action, and has also served as a junior mentor ... son of Greg and Gina Steve ... has three siblings, Ally, Jack and Sara.
Kubinski on Steve: "Thomas didn't have a great deal of results to look at on the national AJGA junior tour, although he did win the AJGA at Nemacolin. He rose on our board through the exhaustive efforts of our assistant coach, Scott Gump. In all the areas we like to examine, Thomas' name really came off the page. While it was somewhat of a "Moneyball" approach, numbers oriented, initially, our in-person scouting of Thomas and conversations with those who know him revealed a young man with great athleticism, an excellent work ethic and an approach that will allow him to be successful. He has no quit in him. He's a very competitive person who also plays other sports. Who he is, as a person and as a golfer, will play a large role in his development and should allow him to continue developing into a very strong national player."
Jens Verhey 6-1 Right-Handed Bishop Manogue Catholic Reno, Nev.
PREP AND PERSONAL: Has won a pair of high school state championships at the 4A (2012-13, Bishop Manogue Catholic High School) and 2A (2010-11, Sage Ridge School) level ... Division I 4A all-regional first team selection in 2013 ... all-state choice at Sage Ridge School in 2011 ... named the Sage Ridge team Most Valuable Player in 2011 ... ranked 86th overall according to the AJGA Polo rankings, including 39th in the class of 2014 ... fired a three-round total of 205 (69-66-70) to win the AJGA Ping Phoenix event in 2013 ... six top-10 FCWT finishes, including three results in the top five ... won the 2012 Northern Nevada Junior World Qualifier - multi-time winner on the state's junior tour with the lowest overall stroke averages during the 2011 and 2012 seasons ... 2013 AP Scholar and HP Scholar All-America recipient ... FCWT All-Academic Team selection in 2013, and was an honorable mention FCWT All-American in 2011 ... 2013 AJGA-USGA President's Award finalist, Nevada Division I 4A academic all-state and Harvard Prize Book Award recipient ... named one of the top-30 fundraisers in AJGA Leadership Links Fundraising for Children's Cancer in 2011-12 ... founder and president of the Manogue Minors Volunteer Music Ensemble for Music Therapy, created in 2012 ... group leader during the 2012 Northern Nevada Special Olympics Regional Basketball Tournament ... son of Peter and Kerri Verhey ... has two siblings, Erik and Britta.
Kubinski on Verhey: "We had Jens on our radar early in the season but his win at the AJGA Karsten event in June really got our attention. It was actually the second year in a row that an eventual ND signee won there, after current frosh Blake Barens won it in 2012. We started to pursue Jens more intently at that point. He strengthened his case with a fourth here in Indiana, at the AJGA Stonehenge, with all three rounds in the 60s, and then, really cemented our decision to make him an offer in our simply spending some time getting to know him and his family. He's a remarkable young man, who will have a positive impact on our program in many ways. In terms of playing, his strength is that he's solid in every area. There's no one thing that jumps out more than another but everything he does is a positive for him. He certainly drives it well and putts well. I think his best days are ahead. With continued work on his game and as his confidence grows, Jens is capable of exciting things."
-- Tony Jones, Media Relations Assistant