Harrell Recaps Notre Dame Trip

As one of many Notre Dame pledges in attendance for Saturday night's game, Mark Harrell experienced a glimpse into his college football future. Irisheyes.com spoke with Harrell about his trip.

Though his visit to Notre Dame this weekend was an unofficial visit, Charlotte (NC) Catholic offensive lineman Mark Harrell used his time on campus to learn more about his future and to connect with future teammates.

It was a fun weekend," said Harrell. "We won big on Friday night and then it was off to Notre Dame.

"The trip was awesome and the environment was crazy. I've never really seen anything like that before and I've been to tons of football games over the past year. The environment at Notre Dame was second to none. There is such a love for Notre Dame and they have such a deep passion for it. The thing that stands out the most was the passion for it and how they treated the recruits and commits with so much respect. You felt at home when you were there. It was just a great trip."

As one of the many committed players attending the game unofficially, did Harrell feel there were too many recruits attending the game?

"I didn't think there were too many guys," said Harrell. "They did separate the juniors and seniors and I felt that was good on their part. This allowed them to focus on the seniors taking their official visits. The juniors also got a lot of love as there were some big name juniors there. But I felt the coaches did a great job of getting to know everyone and seeing everyone despite having a game."

How was it for Harrell to have a chance to reconnect with the Irish staff and meet other members of the 2012 class?

"It was great to have a chance to get and know some of the recruits and commits I hadn't met yet, and to reconnect with some of the guys I met out at The Opening and ones I've been talking to," Harrell continued. "It was great to reconnect with coach (Mike) Elston. Coach Elston was real busy with all the other recruits, but he still made a lot of time for me and talked a lot with me. It was also awesome to get up for a game the first time and also get back on campus for the first time since I committed."

Who did Harrell get a chance to know better during his visit?

"I spent a lot of time with Romeo Okwara," said Harrell. "He's also from Charlotte so I was able to talk with his mother and brother as well. I also got to know Taylor Decker pretty well as I've not met him before. He's a big man, there were also other extremely big men there and it was like being in the land of the giants. I also got to know Scott Daly very well and kept building positive relationships with guys I knew from The Opening."

Attending the game allowed Harrell a chance to watch the Irish offensive line in action.

Was he impressed with what he saw?

"For sure," said Harrell. "I understand a lot of guys are coming back on the offensive line from this year. They have a lot of depth and some top freshmen offensive linemen coming up. So the future looks bright for the offensive line especially if we can get some more guys in the class. We also got Steve Elmer in the 2013 class so that is a great start."

In the end Harrell found the trip to have it highs and lows.

"Now that I'm a fan it was disappointing to see the Irish lose," said Harrell. "But I'm looking forward to going there, working hard, and hopefully contribute by getting a chance to do something on the field there. I understand it will be hard work but at the same time I'm excited to get up there."

IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories