Recruiting Stories: Notre Dame's pitch

Notre Dame’s current recruiting class is all but wrapped up following the early signing period, but with National Signing Day under a month away, here is part of my recruiting story…

Compared to other schools, my recruitment to Notre Dame was much more unorthodox. If it were not for dad and, then Irish baseball coach, Paul Mainieri I would have never stepped foot on campus. Much to your chagrin, I grew up in the great state a Michigan, meaning I was trained to bleed maize and blue. As I began to travel the oft treacherous path of the recruiting process, I widened my gaze in order to a find a school that offered me the best fit. I was looking for a great academic school that would allow me to play both baseball and football. To be honest, Notre Dame was off my radar. Not because I grew up a Michigan fan, rather, they were one of the few regional schools that did not reach out to me. It was not until my dad suggested I attend a one day baseball camp in “Loftus,” the indoor practice facility at Notre Dame, that my interest with Notre Dame was peaked. The Fighting Irish baseball team was a northern powerhouse in a college baseball world where northern teams rarely were able to compete with southern school. Notre Dame consistently won the Big East, averaged over 40 wins, and were a mainstay in post-season play. Thankfully, head baseball coach Paul Maineiri and assistant David Grewe both loved my left handed swing and informed the football program of my interest in playing two sports. The opportunity to play for the most well-known football program in the nation as well as a top tier baseball team appealed to me greatly.

During the summer before my senior year, three schools required I attend a one day quarterback camp in order to garner a scholarship offer. The schools were Purdue, Michigan, and Notre Dame. Following my visit to Purdue and my “breakup” with them, I attended camp at Michigan where I went head to head with Robby Schoenhoft (St. Xaiver High School, The Ohio State University, University of Delaware). The staff at Michigan offered Schoenhoft and Mark Sanchez, but informed me if neither athlete committed, I would have an offer. I was also told that baseball was not in my future if I attended Michigan. Shortly thereafter, Notre Dame held their “quarterback competition.” This included over ten quarterbacks competing in a number of different drills and skills, and finishing with a two-minute drill which tested accuracy and conditioning. I performed very well and thought I had put myself in a great position for an offer. Several days later, on a car ride home from a travel baseball game, quarterback coach Bill Diedrick called to offer me a scholarship to the University of Notre Dame and I immediately accepted. It was an amazing feeling, and I am still not quite sure how to put into words how grateful I am to Ty Willingham and the staff at Notre Dame for giving me the opportunity to play football and baseball at the collegiate level.

Mark Sanchez passed on both Michigan and Notre Dame to attend USC. Robby Schoenhoft passed on Michigan to attend the Ohio State University and Michigan offered Jason Forcier. Committing before my senior year took a lot of pressure of my as I prepared for the fall football season. Unfortunately, Ty Willingham was fired following the Notre Dame season and my future was somewhat uncertain. With Willingham out and Weis in, we had a very small recruiting class. Players like David Nelson (University of Florida) jumped ship because of the uncertainty. This was a tough time for me as well not knowing what to do. Paul Maineiri was the main reason why I decided to maintain my verbal and eventually sign my letter of intent. He told me that all the reasons I wanted to attend Notre Dame remained the same and I needed to trust that the department would go and make a great hire. As a quarterback, the hire of Coach Weis was very exciting. I remained firm in my commitment. Next up was my official visit...

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