Ball in Decker's Court

Taylor Decker stated Notre Dame was his early favorite; he now has in his hands, on an offer from the Irish. What are his short-term and future plans? Irish Eyes checks in with the Ohio offensive lineman for the latest.

It was a matter of time before Notre Dame joined a growing list of school who has offered Taylor Decker of Vandalia (Ohio) Butler High School. Thursday, Coach Tim Hinton called Decker's high school coach with the news and surprised everyone.

"I'm real excited about getting an offer from Notre Dame," Decker told Irish Eyes on Thursday night. "Especially when it first happened. My coach called and got me out of class. When I went to his classroom, he was on the phone talking with somebody. He then turned and handed me the phone and Coach Hinton was on the phone. He told me Notre Dame wanted me to be one of the first players to commit in the class and that pumped me up the rest of the day."

How pumped up was the 6-foot-8, 281-pound Decker?

"I was so pumped I spoke with a couple of my coaches who teach a couple of my classes. I told them about the offer and told them I would not be able to concentrate on anything today."

As his conversation continued with Irish coach Tim Hinton, Decker learned more about what is expected.

"Coach Hinton said he wants me to be one of the leaders in the class so I can help bring others guys in to the class. We did not get to talk too much, so I am going to be calling him later tonight to get some more information. I know I want to get up to Notre Dame as soon as possible to speak with an academic advisor and get more information."

With his basketball schedule, Decker and his family will not have a chance to visit this weekend for Junior Day. How did his family respond to the news of his Notre Dame offer?

"I spoke with my dad and he said he knows I am really excited about the offer as Notre Dame is my top school. However, he advised me to give it a couple of days so everything can sink in. I also spoke with a couple of my coaches and they said the same thing. There are two other programs I really would like to visit before making a decision just to make sure. As it stands right now, Notre Dame is still my number one school, but I would like to have a chance to visit Wisconsin and Michigan also."

As for a timeline of a visit to South Bend, Decker must first finish up with his basketball commitment.

"We are not in the tournament and play on Saturday, so I will not make it to Notre Dame for Junior Day. I am really disappointed about not having a chance to make the visit and told Coach Hinton how disappointed I was about it. I really wanted to get back up to Notre Dame and have been keeping in contact with them so they would know how interested I was in them. Coach Hinton said not to worry about it because I was their man and I guess it does not matter now that they have offered."

Uncertain about any other visits than Notre Dame, Taylor knows if Notre Dame is the school he will not waste other programs time.

"I am hoping for a chance to make a visit with each of them. However, I have told people once I know 100% a school is the one for me, I will be making my commitment. I do not want to waste any coaches' time working on me if I know where I am going."

Having watched the Irish finish with a strong season, Taylor is confident in the future of the Notre Dame program.

"I know Notre Dame is going to win games. Coach Kelly is going to make sure they win and I know Notre Dame would give me a great education. I look forward to speaking with the Notre Dame coaches a little more to see what they feel I will be able to do as a player there."

While the Irish will look to earn their first verbal pledge in the coming days, Taylor Decker may be a few weeks away. However, do not look for the Ohio native to take too much time. Irish Eyes will continue to check back with Decker as things progress. Top Stories