In partnership with CBSSports.com
Online Now 821
Online now 1105 Record: 6507 (2/14/2012)
The place for Irish fans to engage in hardcore discussion about Notre Dame athletics
Talk with Irish fans from around the globe about college football's most storied program
The spot for anything on your mind outside of Notre Dame athletics
The place for Notre Dame fans to trade and exchange tickets
You have no favorite boards.
The most viewed topics.
The most replied to topics.
The most up-voted topics.
The most down-voted topics.
The most up-voted posters.
The most down-voted posters.
The most followed posters.
Harrell Ready For Final Look
Mark Harrell has one more visit to take to Notre Dame before officially becoming a member of the Irish family.
The 6-foot-5, 265-pound offensive lineman from Charlotte, N.C., (Charlotte Catholic) visited South Bend a few times before committing to the Irish and a few times since, but this weekend’s trip for the Blue-Gold Game on Saturday will be his last before arriving as a freshman this summer.
“It’s coming up sooner than I thought,” laughed Harrell. “I keep forgetting how fast June 17th is going to roll around.
“I’m excited. It’s definitely going to be a different experience. I think I’ll be the first or second one of my friends leaving for school so it’s going to be different. I’m ready to work and get to know the team and get acclimated with the school.”
But for now, he's excited about getting back to Notre Dame for the spring game to see Brian Kelly, offensive line coach Harry Hiestand and strength coach Paul Longo.
“It’s going to be the first time I’ve seen the coaching staff since my official visit,” he said. “I’m definitely looking forward to getting on campus and seeing the environment again and actually meeting some signees I haven’t met before. Even though I’ve met a lot of them, I haven’t met every single one.
“I’m looking forward to talking to Coach Longo and getting to recruit a little bit for 2013 kids. It seems like we’re doing really well there, so it shouldn’t be too hard to get some kids on board.”
Harrell doesn’t follow recruiting as much as he did when his class was the focus, but he does keep an eye on things.
“I don’t really read and check up on it every day,” he said. “When an offensive lineman commits, I want to text them and talk to them, but not nearly as much as last year that’s for sure.”
Harrell has already taken the time to reach out to 2013 offensive line commits Steve Elmer, Colin McGovern, Hunter Bivin and Mike McGlinchey.
“I got in touch with all of them,” he said. “I was just saying, ‘Congratulations. It’s a big accomplishment.’ They seemed real nice and they seemed excited to get it done with.
“They’re excited to be a part of Notre Dame and they feel the same way I did last year about how we all are going to Notre Dame because we think the program is shifting and turning around and Coach Kelly is doing a great job. They all seem to like Coach Hiestand as well.”
Just as Harrell is looking to help add to Notre Dame’s roster, so are the current recruits.
“They’re looking forward to recruiting for their class.”
2014 Chicago OL Ready To See ND
The recruiting process has barely begun for Jamarco Jones, but the sophomore offensive lineman from Chicago is already receiving interest from some of the biggest programs in the Midwest.
“I’ve got questionnaires and stuff like that from Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Notre Dame and Illinois,” the 6-foot-5, 290-pounder from Chicago’s De La Salle Institute.
He’ll get the chance to check out one of those programs this weekend, when he makes the trip down to South Bend for Notre Dame’s Blue-Gold Game on Saturday.
“I’m pretty excited,” he said. “This is my first time going down to Notre Dame. I just want to get a feel for the campus and the team and see how it is.”
Jones won’t be going alone.
“Another player who goes to my school, Shelby Spence, is going down there and I’m going to go with them,” he said.
The contact from the Irish at this point is similar to the other schools, but Jones hopes to start building a relationship with the coaches this weekend if possible.
“I’ve gotten questionnaires and some information about their campus, but you can’t really get much as a sophomore,” he said.
He does know some of the basics of Notre Dame’s program.
“I know they’re a very good academic school,” he said. “That’s one of the important things about college and they’re also good in sports.”
Jones has already checked out one of the nearby schools.
“I’ve been to Illinois a few times,” he said. “It was pretty nice. I went to a few of their games last year. It was a nice environment.”
He also knows what he’s looking for in a college.
“Academics is most important because football doesn’t last forever,” he said. “Just a place I’d be comfortable staying all four years.”
Even with an impressive frame for such a young player, Jones believes it’s his attitude that serves him best on the field.
“I’m a very passionate player,” he said. “I take pride in everything that I do and that shows by my play.”
2014 Ohio OL In For Spring Game
The state of Ohio is crucial to Notre Dame's recruiting efforts. Brian Kelly and his staff have made a huge effort toward recruiting in the Buckeye State.
While there is no doubt that pulling top prospects out of Ohio is going to be increasingly difficult with Urban Meyer at the helm for Ohio State; Kelly and Co. are trying to get on Ohio's elite prospects early.
The Irish are set to host several of Ohio's best sophomore prospects for the annual Blue-Gold Game.
Jarrett LaRubbio of Lakota East High School in Liberty Township (Ohio) is one of the talented 2014 prospects visiting this weekend.
The 6-foot-5, 270-pound offensive tackle has been hearing from the likes of Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Illinois, Ohio State, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Penn State among others.
The Thunderhawks standout has recently been in contact with Irish assistant Mike Elston about getting to South Bend for a visit.
"Coach Elston was just telling me that they really want to get me up there for a visit and we got it set for the spring game," he said. "He said the coaches loved my film and they're definitely going to be recruiting me. We can't talk very much because of the rules, but we are starting to build that necessary relationship. I really want to meet with some of the offensive coaches this weekend and just get to know them a little bit."
As soon as LaRubbio found out that the coaching staff wanted him to visit, he made it a priority to schedule a trip as quick as possible.
"I knew that spring practice was about over, so I got all the details mapped out pretty quick," he explained. "It worked out perfectly because I couldn't think of a better day to visit. It's the closest you'll get to a gameday atmosphere until next fall."
Notre Dame is a program that the Ohio native has always kept his eye on, so this visit means a lot to him.
"I've always really liked Notre Dame because they're one of the best teams in the history of college football," he shared. "They're one of the teams I rooted for as I was growing up. I like everything the school stands for spiritually, academically and the football program is always on television.
"If you get a degree from Notre Dame, you'll be set to get one of the best jobs in your field. I'm looking for a school like Notre Dame that has a tremendous blend of academics and athletics."
With LaRubbio only being a sophomore, he's unsure of how he wants his recruitment to unfold.
"It's so early I'm not even thinking about all that stuff," he stated. "I just want to keep working hard and I'll let everything unfold as I go."
247Sports In partnership with CBS Sports