Timing is Everything

Linebacker Clay Burton from Venice High School (Fla.) is one of the building blocks of the future for the Irish defense. After he took his official visit for the Stanford game, he's looking forward to getting started as soon as possible.

Clay Burton was already sold on Notre Dame prior to his official visit for the Stanford game, but it was important for the Irish to get him back in town while the students were on campus. It was also important that his mom got a chance to take the visit with him.

"It was definitely great," Burton said of his of his visit. "I knew I was confident about my decision. I just wanted to get back up there with the guys, and continue to build relationships.

"It was huge getting my mom up there to take in the whole experience. She was overwhelmed. Within five minutes of the game, she told me that she could see me seeing me playing there and see me helping them get back to where they used to be. It was great hearing that and being able to share that with my mom, and my uncle who went with me. It was just another good experience.

Before Clay left campus he met with the Notre Dame coaches which also was an important part of his visit and one that his mom enjoyed as well.

"We met with coach Diaco first" he said. "it was kind of a defensive meeting. We talked about on the field stuff. It just reassured me that I can come in and compete for early playing time and contribute to the team.

"After that, we met with coach Kelly. Anytime you get to talk with him it's great. My mom met him for the first time and she got a great first impression. We just have a trust level with them, that it's the right place for me. They'll help get me where I want to go and have a great career at Notre Dame."

One place that Burton wants to be is on the field. After seeing a number of freshmen on the field throughout the season, he's even more eager to get to Notre Dame and start competing.

"It's huge," Clay said of seeing freshmen play for the Irish. "My brother is a perfect example at the University of Florida. He just went in early and worked as hard as he could and he's getting more playing time than I can even imagine.

"I just want to go in there and be a positive addition to the team and help them get better any way that I can. If I can see the field, that's just icing on the cake. I'm just going in there with the mindset that I'm going to work as hard as I can and try to build relationships with the players."

Burton plans on graduating early and enrolling at Notre Dame in January, so it won't be long until he gets that opportunity.

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