Mahone Talks Upcoming Decision - Part 1

Friday saw the announcement Scout.com 4-star running back William Mahone would be making his college pledge on August 7. IrishEyes.com was first to get early reaction on the announcement, then spoke with the Ohio running back at length about his upcoming decision.

One of the key positions to Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly's recruiting class in 2012 is running back. Youngstown (Ohio) Fitch running back William Mahone looks to be a solid fit, but will the 4-star back pick Notre Dame or another school in the end?

"Right now I really don't know," he said. "I've been to Penn State and Pittsburgh multiple times. I really don't know at this point. If I knew, I'd probable make my decision on Sunday with the Davis twins. I can't really say there's a favorite and I'm going back to Pitt on Saturday with them (Davis twins) and we'll just take it from there."

Over the past few months there has been plenty of talk about the three teammates staying together at the college level.

Has the three made any type of pack to play together?


William Mahone
Scout.com
"It would be nice to go to the same school and Pittsburgh is a great school," Mahone said. "I've been up there four or five times and have a really great relationship with the staff. But on the other hand, it's about what is best for us as people beyond football.

"It would be nice and I guess it does have some leeway. It definitely helps for Pitt to have all three of us there to help lead the offense. But in the end it is about our families and what we need to do as people."

One thing that has been focused on during Mahone's recruitment by Notre Dame is the fact he's not had a face-to-face talk with Kelly.

How much contact has there been between him and Kelly, and what importance has he placed on this during his recruitment?

"I talked with coach Kelly on the phone (Thursday), which was good," Mahone said. "But if I can get down there again that would be nice to talk with him face-to-face. But if I can't, I don't think it is going to affect my decision too much. It's definitely a focal point, but I don't know as it is kind of hard to explain."

However, it does seem the role of his future position coach has played an important role.

"I guess you could just say the position coaches and who I feel the most comfortable with is the most real in my opinion when I went to visit," Mahone said. "You just get a vibe everywhere you go and these are the schools I felt the best vibe at and who I feel really cares for me as a person and a player and that they'll do the right things."

During his campus visit to Notre Dame did William get a chance to meet with Irish running back coach Tim Hinton?

"Yes I did," Mahone said. "We broke down film and everything and despite the fact they had camp that day, he found time to get with me and I really like him.

"My time with coach Hinton was very helpful. A couple of coaches have done this for me, but he really explained everything for me and it felt like it was a one-on-one practice right there. It was different from the way a lot of coaches did it and it was a plus for them."

Not to be lost is the relationship built by his main recruiting coach, Ed Warinner.

"It's a very good relationship as he came down to see me then coach Hinton came to see me," Mahone said. "Coach Warinner is a good guy and he took me on my recruiting visit tour and we just had a good time."

When asked to breakdown each of the four programs that made the cut, William had positive things to say about each.

"The thing about Pitt is the campus if pretty far from the football facilities," Mahone said. "I know they have shuttle and things to get your from place to place, but that was kind of the downside for them.

"Notre Dame has everything right there and it's not too small of a campus but also not too big and you can get from place to place pretty easy.

"Penn State is just a college atmosphere right there and it was really good.

"Michigan State was really good too as it was not too far from the dorms and everything.

"But one of the factors is kind of if I want to be in the city or not."

One factor that does not look to be playing into the decision is the distance from home.

"Penn State is like just over two hours and Notre Dame is about four to fiive hours away," Mahone said. "To be honest, I do not feel the five-hour drive is that bad. But I do not feel it is that much of a factor because if they are the top school I'm really interested in that is what I would be looking at. It is my decision to do this."

Has the recruiting process started to take its toll?

"Yes it did," he said, "but you just have to take it in stride and know this is the process that I asked for and have to deal with it."

Just a couple of weeks ago Mahone spent the week in Oregon at The Opening with many of the top prospects in the country. How many players were in his ear about his college choice and did it get overwhelming?

"At The Opening, I wanted to talk with a lot of people and see what their thoughts were and took it in stride and did my homework on the schools I've been thinking about," Mahone said. "I couldn't say a lot of kids committed to Pittsburgh were there and that was a factor.

I talked to David Perkins about Notre Dame and Justin Ferguson also. Deontay Greenberry was on my team and we talked. I had lunch with Armani Reeves who is kind of in the same situation like me with Penn State and Notre Dame. So I got to talk with a lot of kids in the same situation like me."

Stay with Irish Eyes for the second part of our conversation with Ohio running back William Mahone.


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