Shane Ray (6-foot-3, 225-pounds) received his scholarship offer from the Notre Dame last week and the Irish coaching staff quickly got Ray on campus for an official visit this past weekend.
"I had a great time," Ray said. "On any official visit you go around campus and see everything that a school has to offer, and I enjoyed what I saw.
"Notre Dame's tradition is great and the academics are second to none… it's Notre Dame," he said. "All that stuck out to me."
Above anything else, it was the time Shane spent with the current players and the nine committed players that were also taking their official visits last weekend.
"They're really great guys," Ray explained. "It didn't take me long to connect with any of the guys, especially the recruits. I make friends quickly.
"Me and Kendall (Moore) met up with so many people. I met so many of the older football players, but it seemed like we always ended up meeting back with the guys that were visiting. It was a good time. It seemed like we were together the entire time. It was a really good time.
"They take care of their players there and the players stick together," he said. "That's one of the things that stood out to me the most. It's a real big family and that's something you want to look for in somewhere that you're going to be the next four years."
Many Missouri fans seem to be under the assumption that Bishop Miege head coach and former Notre Dame great Tim Grunhard is exerting his influence on Ray to not only look at Notre Dame, but to also follow in his footsteps. Something that Ray said couldn't be further from the truth.
"Actually coach Grunhard didn't have much to do with my interest in Notre Dame," Ray explained. "Early on when I was getting mail from Notre Dame, me and my mom would talk about how important Notre Dame is, and life after football. Also the Notre Dame football program being a national championship caliber program.
"I committed to Missouri early, so my recruiting came to a halt as soon as I committed. I always said if Notre Dame or Oklahoma offered me, that I'd open up my recruitment for them. It just so happens that Notre Dame decided to send an offer my way, and that's what sparked my interest.
"Coach Grunhard wants me to do what's best for me," Shane said. "He told me, if I went to Missouri or Notre Dame that he'd be happy for me and support me. But of course he'll feel good if I go to his alma mater, but that's nothing big for him."
Ray is still committed to Missouri, but it does sound like Notre Dame has given him a reason to consider playing his football in South Bend.
"I'll be taking a visit to Missouri this weekend," he said. "I think that's critical for me making my decision before Christmas.
"I'm plan on making a decision and letting everyone know around Christmas. Whether I stay committed or whether I go to Notre Dame."
Ray Liked Everything He saw at Nore Dame
IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories
The Final FiveThree of Notre Dame’s “most difficult” opponents as projected during the pre-season remain. Virginia Tech looms as the most talented, cohesive opponent among the last five.
Fresh Starts: Just how young are Irish?Brian Kelly has been pitching this Notre Dame team as the program’s least experienced since 1972. But is this also Kelly’s youngest squad in terms of freshman starters?
Commit Recap: Adams sets recordDavid Adams will go down as one of the best ever at Pittsburgh Central Catholic after breaking the all-time tackles record. Meanwhile, Avery Davis turned in another hyper-efficient…
Status Reports: Irish Defensive LineThe seventh installment in our series of mid-season evaluations examines Notre Dame’s roster with a look at each individual’s status entering the bye week. Is he ascending? Has he…