We continue our conversation with Sherri Carrico, mother of 2011 Irish Football pledge Brad Carrico of Dublin (Ohio) Coffman High School.
As a parent, how easy was it for you and your family having already known Tim Hinton?
"Coach Hinton had developed a relationship with Brad when he was at Cincinnati and had spoken with him many times. We had many good conversations and knew they were comfortable with one another. I felt they made the transition very comfortable for us when we went to Notre Dame for Junior Day, the day Brad committed. "
"Everyone could not have been any nicer. We were greeted at the door, taken aside, talked to, and made to feel very special. They could not have been nicer or treated us any better. It was a great welcome, and I feel everyone there I met are great people."
Last Meal Before Leaving
One of the things we have learned during our conversations with some of the mothers is their son's favorite meals. What will Brad want his mother to fix before he leaves for Notre Dame?
"Brad will probably like to have roast beef, mashed potatoes, broccoli, and chocolate cake."
How Big Would He Be?
For Sherri Carrico it was never a thing about Brad being big, it was just how big he would become?
"Brad was always in the 100% of the pediatrician's charts. We would always ask them how big he would be or how tall he would be. Brad's father is 6-foot-3, and the pediatrician's would always say he would be at least as tall as his father. Now, Brad is 6-foot-6. I knew he would be tall, but never this big. I am amazed when I stand next to him just how big he is and amazed where he is at this point in his life."
Clothes Are A Challenge
With an ever-growing son, Sherri Carrico learned clothes just do not hang on store racks.
"It is hard to buy Brad clothes. When he would go to prom or homecoming, you just cannot go buy a shirt at a regular store. His arms are so long and his chest must be measured. We have to take him to a specialty store just to get him a shirt. The same with shoes, you just cannot go into a store and buy a pair of shoes off the shelves. You have to have him measured, order them online, and wait for them to come. It is difficult to find clothes for him and yes, it is pretty expensive as well."
"They are happy for him. They are glad and say it is a great opportunity for him to attend a great university and earning a degree from will be wonderful. However, they wish he would go to Ohio State, but understand his desire to go to Notre Dame."
Breaking The Cord
Like most mothers, Sherri Carrico is preparing for her only child to leave the nest and head off to college. How is she handling it so far?
"Brad is going to be an early enrollee at Notre Dame. I have tried to take a second look at it because as I focus on the fact he will be leaving in the middle of January, it kinds of overwhelms me. So, I take a different look and just try to take it week-by-week. I seem to adapt to it better this way and do not get as emotional about it."
"If I just take baby steps, it seems to be easier for me. I am just on a week-by-week realization that he will be leaving soon and that is how I have chosen to handle it. I know when the time gets closer; things will hit me a little bit more. But hopefully dealing with it this way I will be able to hold myself together and be strong when it is time to take him to Notre Dame and drop him off. Brad is an only child and this will leave a hole in my heart to say the least."
Doing The Right Thing
As many parents do, Sherri Carrico has worked hard to make sure her son is capable of making the many life choices ahead of him.
"We are very proud of Brad and want only the best for him. We just hope that everything we have taught him will help him in the choices he will have to make on his own for the first time. We hope he will remember everything we have tried to instill in him."
"Brad is a very well rounded individual and we feel he will make good choices. His father and I just look at each other and say we feel we have done everything we could, and comfort each other knowing he will do fine. We feel we did our best."
As other mothers have said, the stress of the recruiting process can wear on the best child. How was it for Sherri Carrico?
"The recruiting process is very stressful as you go to so many places, and meet so many people. You have so many choices and so many things to think about. I could see the more Brad visited campuses, the more stressful it became for him. It was so hard to watch him be so stress about things, wondering about so many different things and all the questions he had. There is a lot of pressure placed on you when you are in this position. That is why I was so glad he committed early as the pressures went away when he made his choice to attend Notre Dame. He was confident Notre Dame was where he wanted to be and needed to be."