Future at His Doorstep

Conor Hanratty is watching his senior year roll by faster than he had ever imagined. The offensive lineman from New Canaan High School (Conn.) is excited about his future at Notre Dame and he'll get a chance to talk about it with the Irish coaching staff this weekend.

Since the day you're born, you're always told to appreciate the moment because it will soon be over. Conor Hanratty (6-foot-4, 290-pounds) is certainly experiencing that now.

"When I was going through all this as a freshman, it seem like such a grind," Hanratty said "But looking back now it's such a surprise that it's over. In the grand scheme of things, it went by really quickly. It's kind of scary to know that I won't be playing for New Canaan next year."

While he won't be playing for New Canaan next season, Hanratty did make the most of his senior season.

"The season went well, but unfortunately we lost in the state championship," Hanratty said. "I think we had a great year despite that. It was a bigger challenge, because we moved up a division this year, so we player some better competition, but overall it was a great year.

"I improved my game a lot and I got better. I got a lot of experience under my belt. Technique-wise I got an opportunity to improve over the season, in terms of run blocking and pass blocking. I have my footwork down better and I've been working on my pad level a little bit.

"It will be a continuous transition as I go to Notre Dame" he said. "Obviously it's a little different, but it will be interesting to see how things go."

Hanratty watched his future team struggle through much of last season, but he never panicked and he always stayed patient.

"It was coach Kelly's first year there, so people need to put the season in perspective," Conor explained. "Although I wanted as much as everyone to have a really good season, I think it's kind of unrealistic to expect that when it's the first year of the program. Everyone is still learning the ropes.

"That said, they came to play towards the end of the year and then they won a bowl game. They have a lot of players returning next year and they have a lot of promise for the future and that's all you can ask for.

"If we can play more like we did at the end of the year then we'll have a much better program," he said.

Hanratty hasn't been back to Notre Dame since he committed the weekend of the Blue-Gold game, but that will change this weekend.

"I'm going to be out for my official visit (this weekend)," he said. "I'll probably talk to the coaches about what to expect and how things are going to be once I get out there.

"I don't know if I'll sit in on a class or anything, but I pretty much know what I need to know about the school right now."

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