Nov. 17, 2014 NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s golf program spanned the United States looking to lock down some of the best junior talent in the country for its 2019 recruiting class. Three prep standouts have officially signed National Letters of Intent, and will enroll at Notre Dame during the 2015 fall semester.
Ben Albin (Santa Fe, N.M.), Kevin Conners (Downingtown, Pa.) and Miguel Delgado (Novato, Calif.) will be eligible to compete with the Irish men’s golf team beginning with the 2015 fall season.
“We’re thrilled to have signed Miguel, Kevin and Ben as our 2019 class this last week,” Notre Dame head coach Jim Kubinski said. “It’s one of the strongest classes in the country, with all three players capable of contributing immediately.
“Once again, we’ve stretched our recruiting arms from coast to coast and on down to our Southern border as well,” Kubinski added. “While our signees hail from very different areas of the country, all three are very similar in their tremendous desire to compete. I think that trait, above all else, will allow them to have a very positive impact on our program. Of course, all three also have the athleticism we covet, having competed in other sports as well. They’re an exciting group, one who will compete in the classroom and on the course.”
Ben Albin 5-11 Albuquerque Academy Santa Fe, N.M.
PREP AND PERSONAL: Birdied final two holes to win the New Mexico state high school championship by five strokes, powering Bishop Shanahan to a one-stroke team victory in 2014 … achievement was recognized in Sports Illustrated “Faces in the Crowd” segment … posted a tie for fourth place finish at the PGA Junior Series at Arbor Links earlier in 2014 … added top 25 results at the 2014 AJGA L.A. Junior Open, AJGA Junior at Mayacama and the AJGA PING Phoenix Junior … qualified for the 2014 United States Amateur Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club … competed with Team USA at the 2013 and 2014 DBC Junior Challenge Cup … paced Team New Mexico at the 2014 USGA Men’s State Team Championship, finishing in a tie for 27th place overall … member of the Junior America’s Cup team in 2013 … placed in the top 10 at the 2013 FCWT Tour Championship at PGA National and the North and South Junior Championship at Pinehurst Resort, and in the top 15 at the 2013 New Mexico-West Texas Amateur Championship … placed second at the 2013 FCWT Omni Tucson National and third at the AJGA Junior at Centennial … top 15 finish at the 2013 Junior Orange Bowl International Golf Championship … 2013-14 FCWT all-academic team selection … 2013 AJGA Scholastic All-America honorable mention recipient … National Merit Scholar semifinalist.
Kubinski on Albin: “Ben came into the fold over the summer, which is a timetable that was more prevalent in years past. We feel very, very fortunate to have attracted Ben to ND, beating out a couple of very highly ranked programs in the process. Of course, soon after his commitment, Ben qualified for the U.S. Amateur and showed us quite a lot while competing against older and more experienced college players. He just has so much heart. He’s always looking for ways to improve and beat people. He’s a young guy with a solid all-around game, excellent short game and sneaky power. He’s going to get stronger, too. As he does, you’ll see another jump in his game.”
Kevin Conners 5-9 Bishop Shanahan Downingtown, Pa.
PREP AND PERSONAL: Three-year captain at Bishop Shanahan High School … ranked No. 34 in the 2015 class according to the Polo/American Junior Golf Association and Golfweek rankings as of October, 2014 … has posted two career top 10 finishes at the PIAA State Championship, with a best result of third in 2014 … earned a 12th place finish at the 2014 Spirit of America Invitational in Decatur, Alabama with a final score of 285 (74-71-70-70, +1) … winner of the 2014 Golf Association of Philadelphia Christman Cup with a two-round total of 139 (72-69) … claimed the 2013 PIAA Eastern Regional Championship by shooting a five-under-par 67 … third place at 2013 PIAA district tournament after carding a 36-hole total of even par 144 (75-69) … three-time first team all-area selection … three-time medalist (2012-14) at the Ches-Mont League Championship tournament … three-time Pennsylvania State Amateur qualifier (2012-14) … runner-up at the 2013 AJGA Jos. A Bank/David Leadbetter Championship, finishing at three-under-par (68-71-71=210) … third place at the 2013 AJGA Burgett H. Mooney Jr. Rome Classic (71-70-65=206, -7) … 2013 and 2014 AJGA/HP Scholastic Honor Roll recipient … has also earned three varsity letters in tennis and ice hockey at Bishop Shanahan … member of the National Honor Society and Community Service Corps … AP Scholar … played 150 holes in the Dusk to Dawn Golf Marathon benefitting the J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship and helped raise more than $5,000 … son of Kevin and Linda Conners … has three siblings, Erin, Cassidy and Ryan.
Kubinski on Conners: “Kevin was our second commitment in this class, dating back to December of 2013, and made it clear early on that ND was in his heart. He too received a great deal of attention throughout the recruiting process, putting off offers from a couple of SEC schools, among others, to join what we feel has a chance to be a dynamic class. I love the simplicity of Kevin’s golf swing, his approach to playing and the fact that he can make putts. He has posted some very low numbers on the national junior tours, as well as recently putting together a streak of 42 holes in high school golf without a bogey. That shows the grit we’re looking for. Kevin doesn’t give in.”
Miguel Delgado 6-2 Branson Novato, Calif.
PREP AND PERSONAL: Earned Branson School Junior Male Athlete of the Year recognition in 2014 … ranked No. 56 in the 2015 class according to the Polo/American Junior Golf Association and Golfweek rankings as of October, 2014 … 2013 and 2014 MCAL Player of the Year … placed seventh at the 2014 AJGA Bishops Gate event … top 15 at the 2014 AJGA Puerto Rico Jr. Open, adding a top 20 at the Western Junior Open … claimed medalist honors at the 2014 North Coast Section (NCS) Championship with a five-under-par 66 … reached the quarterfinals of the 2014 San Francisco City Amateur … qualified for the 2013 United States Amateur at The Country Club at Brookline (Massachusetts) after firing back-to-back rounds of 70 … logged three straight top 10 finishes in 2013 AJGA Open events … carded rounds of 69-69-71-71=280 during a top 25 effort at the 2013 TranMiss Amateur … runner-up at the 2013 California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Boys Golf Championship after posting a tournament round of 68.
Kubinski on Delgado: “Miguel was our first commitment in this class, dating back to the fall of 2013. He’s an impressive young man, who was recruited by several of the best teams in the country. For us, his record of success in junior golf was obviously a big factor. Yet, his ability to compete against older players, highlighted by his 2013 U.S. Amateur appearance, is what made him that much more impressive. He possesses great power, an intelligent approach and great touch around the greens. I think the moment I really knew we had something with Miguel was after a five-birdie in seven-hole stretch at the Western Junior, when his expressions, body language and focus never deviated. He was absolutely about the shot at hand, something not all young players exhibit. I very much appreciated Miguel’s thoughtful approach to the recruiting process, visiting the top schools, and then forming his decision based upon ND being the best place for him to chase his lofty goals.”
“We’re very much looking forward to the arrival of all three players in August,” Kubinski added about the 2019 recruiting class. “Our job will simply be to fan the flames of their competitiveness and keep providing resources that allow them to achieve the great things they’re capable of.”
— Tony Jones, Media Relations Assistant