Goose BumpsDuring our conversation about Aaron Lynch's future at Notre Dame, it was easy to see why the Lynch family has made the choice to move from Florida to South Bend. Not only was Aaron Lynch blown away by the Notre Dame campus, so were other members of his family.
"I get goose bumps just thing about it. That is how it was when I went there with my aunt and uncle. Everywhere we went, we were getting these goose bumps and I was like, 'Oh my gosh.' Then just talking with all the people around there, just everybody, you learn why it is such a great atmosphere. I went to FSU (Florida State) twice and did not feel that way when I was there.
"When I went to Notre Dame and saw it, I was like wow, no wonder my son came home from his first visit and was in awe. He just loved it and I could see why as we walked around the church area, then coming out and going across the street and to the stadium. When I was young, we would always watch Notre Dame on television and my brother would always say he wished he could run out of that tunnel. "
What made Alice Lynch so sure about her son's future?
"My brother John Lynch got to play college football. He played at Mount Union after playing two years for West Georgia. He played for Coach Larry Kehres at Mount Union and was only three months away from graduating when he was killed. He was going to try to go pro. I see so much of my brother in my son."
The hardest part for any parent or student athlete is making that final choice and giving your pledge. How did Alice prepare her son for the rigors of picking a school?
"I told Aaron it is all about how you feel. I feel I am a pretty good person when it comes to judging people. I told Aaron, coaches are paid to get the best so they can be the best. You're going to have to try and see who you feel comfortable around and who you feel you can trust."
Tony Alford: More Than a Coach"I knew it was going to be hard because there are a lot of great coaches out there. From Clemson to FSU, Alabama to Notre Dame, there are so many great coaches. However, it is all about feeling it out and going on instinct to see who the one you get along with is. Coach Tony Alford is a great man. During the time we were getting to know Tony, I was losing my father. Aaron and my dad were really, really close and Tony was losing his father at the same time. I would call Tony a lot of times and just ask him questions.
"I could see the relationship Aaron was building with Tony was becoming a mentoring one because Aaron was calling him also because he knew he could call him at any time. Aaron felt comfortable around Tony and he didn't really feel that comfortable with any other coach, it was always Tony."
On Head Coach Brian Kelly"So when he first got to meet Coach Kelly, Aaron told me he felt the same way about Coach Kelly as he did with Tony. When I talked with Coach Kelly, I found him to be a great man and saw what my son felt. It is hard, it really is, this is a tough process especially when you are highly recruited and you are given so many choices. It is like being in a candy store and you can only pick one. There are so many great colleges, but you can only pick one."
Growing Up & Moving ForwardDespite knowing her family will soon be calling South Bend home, Alice knows there will be days she will be without her son.
"It's been difficult, there have been plenty of times I have cried about the thought of him being gone, even though I know I'm going to be with him. I could have made the choice to South Ben when he goes up early, but I wanted to make sure my other two kids finish out their school year completely before we made the move. I also wanted to give Aaron some time where he can have that time of responsibility and sort of let him mature a little bit without me being there. I am very close to Aaron and it is going to be very hard at times, but he's going to be just fine."
"Aaron's has really taken to being the man of the house this past year and he tries to be there for his brother and sister. I know this is going to break their heart too. His sister is going to miss him so much, she calls him Bubby, and she is already talking about it. She is going to miss him so much. But he needs to go through this process of starting college and I feel this is going to be really good for him."
Some might question why someone would leave the sun and heat of Florida for the four seasons of the Midwest. For Alice the choice was easy because her roots are based not too far away from South Bend.
"I'm from Cleveland, Ohio and I know how cold it can get in South Bend. However, it is so hot here we will not miss it. We left Cleveland when Dominic was One and a half years, and Aaron was Two and a half years old. We talked about moving before and I gave Aaron the choice to stay here. We knew Florida was a good place to be since he played football. But we will not miss the heat."
Note: We hope you enjoyed this in-depth look at one of the members of the Irish recruiting class of 2011. We would like to thank Alice Lynch for taking the time and giving our subscribers an in-depth look at her son. We will soon have more stories from the mothers of other members of the 2011 class.