Summer Plans

Irish Eyes caught up with three prospects that will be reporting to Notre Dame in August. Isaiah Gardner, Jeff Samardzija and Labrose Hedgemon have busy summers planned and are looking forward to reporting to Notre Dame.

Labrose Hedgemon has graduated and he is happy about that. "I am happy I'm done," said Hedgemon of high school. "I was getting very tired of high school. I just want to move on to college and get started with football."

Labrose has a busy summer planned. "I was going to play in the Alabama/Mississippi All-Star game but I don't think that is going to be played this year. The North/South game is going to be played in July and I won't be here for that."

Labrose is planning on being in South Bend instead. "I'm leaving on June 29th for Notre Dame. I want to get up there and work out with the team and go against some receivers. I want to get prepared for the season so I am going up early."

Hedgemon said he had a pulled hamstring so he didn't participate in track this year. "It's fine now. I've been working out and doing the program. I'm 185 right now so I should be in good shape when the season starts."

Hedgemon says he just wants to play early. "My only goal is to become comfortable with what they are doing and to get on the field early."

The Alabama prospect was issued #29 and says he won't miss home much. "Other than my family, I won't miss Alabama. I'm really excited about going to college and can't wait to get going. June 29th can't get here fast enough."

Isaiah Gardner also didn't participate in track this year. "No, I didn't run track. I ran with my coach and that is a whole lot harder than any track program. He has been working me hard. We are doing the lifting program but he is also running me a lot. I'm up to 191 right now."

Gardner has graduated and will be glad to leave the area. "It's a relief. I was really happy to get that over with. I want to move on and get away from here. I will start making my way up there in July."

Gardner says he will spend some time in Detroit this summer and in Lima Ohio. "I'm going to spend some time with my Dad before I go to Notre Dame. I'm sure he will take me up there for a while during the summer. I'm just going to keep on running and lifting and hopefully I will make it up to Notre Dame sometime and work out with the team."

The Virginia prospect says he is starting out at corner. "They said I could play either corner or running back but I would start out at corner. They gave me 36 to wear but I hope I can change that number."

Gardner has a couple of goals set for himself. "I just want to impress the coaches and Coach Willingham. I hope I can play early and get on the field this year."

Jeff Samardzija has worked out his summer plans and also what he plans to do about baseball.

Samardzija had a pretty good year in baseball. "I was 7-2 as a starter with a 2.8 ERA. I hit .478 with eight home runs, five triples and 47 RBI."

Samardzija was excited to find out that his baseball career isn't over once he reports to Notre Dame. "Coach Willingham said I could play baseball. I was happy to hear about that. I was more excited to hear that Coach Mainieri and O'Connor liked me and wanted me to play on their team."

The Valparaiso prospect said they have worked it out so he can play both. "They (Willingham and Mainieri) are going to make the decisions as to where I am at and when. I will participate in football spring practice because that is where my scholarship is and after that, I will play baseball. After my freshman year, we will see what will happen. I'm a pitcher so I doesn't take as much time for me to get caught up."

Samardzija says he has been working out hard and summer baseball is taking a back seat to his workouts. "I will play some AAU baseball but I can't be playing a lot. I'm over 200 pounds now so I've added some weight and strength. It's kind of self-motivation for me because nobody else is working out. The lifting is great, I hate the long runs. I can do sprints all day but I don't like the longer runs. You have to do it though and they break it up and give you a choice of lifts and runs. I will go up to Notre Dame some over the summer and work out there as well."

Jeff was excited and can't wait to get started. He was very happy he could continue to play baseball as well. Top Stories