14 In 14 - Mark Harrell

IrishEyes.com continues its "14 in 14" series, which profiles each of the freshman enrolling this month at Notre Dame. Today we check in with Charlotte Catholic offense lineman Mark Harrell.

Mark Harrell enjoyed his final days before leaving home to report with other members of Notre Dame's 2012 recruiting class.

"Life has been great," said Harrell. "I received my new workout about three days after signing day. So I've been doing that and working out hard trying to do my best with that workout and trying to be in the best shape as possible before I show up on campus."

Since cementing his college decision official in early February, Harrell has continued his contact with members of the Irish coaching staff and future teammates.

"I've talked with (assistant) coach (Harry) Hiestand a couple of times and went up for the spring game," said Harrel. "So I got to talk with all the coaches up there then. Ronnie (Stanley) is going to be my roommate for the summer so I've been talking with him a lot. I've also been talking with Nick Baratti and of course Romeo (Okwara) since he also lives in Charlotte. I've also been working out with Prince Shembo as well. I can't keep track of all the 2012 kids I've been talking with but mostly those three."

While not recruited by the new Irish offensive line coach, Harrell is happy about what he's heard so far.

"So far all the players there have said nothing but great things about him," said Harrell. "He seems like a real down to earth person, great coach and a great guy. So I've heard nothing but great things and that he's a great O-line coach who knows what he's doing. Everyone seems to love him and as I call and check in I've been able to learn more about him as a coach and a person."

Has Harrell started to get a little nervous about leaving behind the comforts of home?

"There is always that little anxiety in the back of your mind as you're getting ready to start something new in your life," said Harrell. "There are no doubts about my decision at all; it's just that you get nervous about what is going on and what is about to happen.

"It's not an easy thing to do having to leave way earlier than all your friends at school. I'm definitely a little bit nervous but I'm more excited than nervous. I'm excited to get up there and see what Notre Dame is all about and get started on the grind."

How is the mood with his family as his final days at home fast approach?

"I think they kind of understand that I'm getting ready to leave," said Harrell. "My mom is starting to pack and reality is starting to sink in. I think it's going to sink in a lot a week before we have to leave as my mom has to get all that stuff ready. I think it will hit my mom hardest as she'll be an empty nester once I leave.

"So I especially think it will hit my mom hardest. I think they are ready for it and have prepared themselves for it. Luckily my brother will be home after studying abroad so he'll be able to keep them company and keep them sane."

Instead of just jumping on a plane and heading off to his new home, the Harrell family made it a family trip.

"We're going up as a family," said Harrell. "I think we leave on (Friday) and will be traveling for two days to get up there. So we'll get up there and moved in."


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