Charlton knows Irish offer is special

Taco Charlton has seen the effects of Notre Dame recruiting on a former high school teammate. Now the 2013 defensive end is ready for his round as the Irish are the latest program to offer.

Last season, Taco Charlton of Pickerington (Ohio) Central High School watched teammate and friend Eilar Hardy navigate the recruiting process. Hardy, who would end up signing with Notre Dame, was a team leader and someone Charlton looked up to.

More than a year later, Notre Dame has offered the 6-foot-6, 235-pound defensive end, giving him a chance to reconnect with Hardy if he chooses.

"Being offered by Notre Dame means a lot," said Charlton. "I've been waiting for their offer and when I got it I was so excited."

While Charlton acknowledges Hardy already being in South Bend could play a role in his decision, he also knows he must look everything over.

"It's a positive thing knowing Eilar is at Notre Dame," said Charlton. "The fact that I'll know somebody there is special; however, I've got to go where it is best for me."

Charlton learned firsthand how special Notre Dame is during his visit for the USC game.

"Notre Dame is real special and something you know you'll never see anywhere else," Charlton said. "The USC game was a special atmosphere and my dad liked it a lot. I had a good visit when I went up there.

"When I was there I was watching to see how I would fit in and watching the defense out there I could see that I could fit in there."

Now holding several verbal scholarship offers, where does Notre Dame's offer stand in comparison against the others?

"I've got six offers now," said Charlton. "The Notre Dame offer is high much like my Michigan offer."

Leading the way for the Irish is running back coach Tim Hinton.

"We have a very good relationship," said Charlton. "We talk every few days or so trying to stay connected."

How did Charlton learn about his Irish offer?

"I got a thing in the mail to call coach Hinton," said Charlton. "So when I did he told me I had an offer from Notre Dame."

While Charlton has plenty of time to think about his decision. He wasn't afraid to talk about when he might be looking to make a decision.

"I'm not sure if I'm going to commit early or not," said Charlton. "It will all depend on how I feel about things. I'm going to start looking at things hard after we finish our season."

A year ago Charlton was the kid among several veteran players. This fall he may have taken a few steps forward, but he knows time is clicking away fast.

"I'll be ready to step up and be a leader on this team," said Charlton. "Time has gone by so fast, but I'll be ready."


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