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Coach's Take: Luke A 'Ball Hawker'

Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton cornerback Cole Luke has clearly received a lot recognition for his playing ability by being ranked as the No. 65 player in the land on 247Sports, but that's not near as much that he receives from his head coach and former Irish quarterback Steve Belles.

Steve Belles feels Cole Luke has all the tools to thrive at Notre Dame.

"In 22 years of being a head coach, he's the best corner I've ever had," Belles said of the 6-0, 170-pound four-star Notre Dame pledge. "He can cover someone all night and give you all he's got. He loves the challenge and he's a ball hawker. If there's a ball in the area he's going to knock it down or pick it off. And he can turn an interception into six points immediately. That's the kind of kid he is and how he plays. He wants to be the man."

That's just the type of mentality required for a cornerback to find success at the position considering he's out on an island and will certainly get beat at times, but it's about coming back ready to play. While it's apparent Luke has the skills to be a shut-down corner at the next level, he also knows there are areas of his game to improve to bring it to the next level.

"It's going to come down to getting bigger physically," Belles said. "Putting another 10-15 pounds on will allow him to play more physical. He can tackle, but he won't crush anybody in college at that size. He'll work hard on that and coming up with more force in run support."

As a former player for the Irish Belles understands the type of total package it takes on the field and in the classroom to have an opportunity to play for Notre Dame.

Luke won't be a problem.

"He's one of those All-American kids," Belles said. "My daughter is in his age group and I wouldn't have a problem with her dating him. That says a lot about him. He does all of the right things."

It may have taken Belles 22 years to have one of his player head to South Bend, his previous stomping grounds, but it more so comes down to Luke working for that opportunity rather than the head coach seeing one of his players suit up for his alma mater.

"I'm really excited for him," he said. "This isn't about me playing there. It's an experience he's going to have to live with for four or five years. The great thing is it was his choice."

Unexpected, but still Luke's choice to take his talents to Notre Dame.

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