Mahone Has ND Official Set; Others Coming?

Fitch High (Youngstown, Ohio) four-star running back William Mahone set an official visit to Notre Dame, but has not yet set any other official visits. He recently trimmed his list to four schools -- Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Penn State and Michigan State -- and he talked about whether that has changed, and where else he is visiting.

Fitch High (Youngstown, Ohio) four-star running back William Mahone wasn't ready to make a decision over the weekend, so he pulled back on his planned announcement so he can gain more knowledge of the schools he is considering.

That bodes well for Notre Dame because it will give him a chance to learn more about the program, especially since Mahone's lone known official visit will be to South Bend, Ind., next month.

"I think I'm going to the Penn State-Alabama game (Sept. 10)," he said. "I don't know if that will be an official, but Notre Dame-Michigan State (Sept. 17) will be an official visit for me."

The other two schools in Mahone's final four are Michigan State and Pittsburgh, although the Spartans seem to be lagging behind the others.

"I hope to (make all four official visits), but I don't know if I will be able to," the 6-foot, 205-pound Mahone said. "I've been to Pitt about six or seven times, but I don't know if an official is necessary. I don't know if my decision will take that long."

One of the reasons Mahone delayed his announcement was to gain a better understanding of how the Irish's interest, and to meet coach Brian Kelly. He was going to try and make an unofficial visit late last month, but it didn't work out.

"I ended up talking to him on the phone, and then I talked to him again a few days later," Mahon said. "But it will be nice to sit down and talk to him face-to-face and meet him.

"He told me he's actually been looking at me since my freshman year when he was at Cincinnati. I was getting letters than from him, and he just carried it over to Notre Dame, and they really see me as future running back there."

Mahone said building a relationship with a program's head coach is important, but other relationships matter as well.

"I think it's important, but it's not like you're with the head coach every day," he said. "You have to build a relationship with your position coach, and the strength and condition people, and I feel very comfortable with those people (at Notre Dame). The head coach is important, but I don't think it's everything."

As for the timing of a decision, Mahone isn't sure. But he knows he will not rush it.

"I just wasn't ready to make a decision yet," Mahone said of his change of plans. "I really do feel more (relaxed). I feel like it's a lot less difficult, and I can just think things through right now."


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