Irish Rate High for Hooper

Concord (Calif.) De La Salle defensive end Austin Hooper was on Notre Dame's campus for an unofficial visit. How did it go? has the answer.

Michael Hooper experienced the recruiting process a bit and it landed him at San Diego State, but it is nothing like what his standout defensive end son is going through.

Austin Hooper, a 6-foot-4, 245-pounder at of Concord (Calif.) De La Salle, has offers from across the country, and over the weekend he made a trip to Notre Dame to see what the Irish had to offer.

"It's Notre Dame …it was an excellent trip," said Hooper's father, Michael. "We visited all the facilities, met with all the coaches and sat down and figured out where Austin would fit into the defense and we all heard about the academic side."

The academic presentation was impressive, and it was capped off by a long discussion about Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business school.

"We spent time with all the academic support services folks," Michael Hooper said, "and all the people that were in his field of major in the Mendoza business (school)."

Hooper played as a tight end and defensive end at De La Salle last season, but most schools see him as playing either defensive end in a 4-3 defense or outside linebacker in the 3-4, which Notre Dame employs.

However, as strong as the Irish may be on the field, it is the classroom that caught the family's attention.

"In our house, our philosophy is we all go to college," Michael Hooper said. "If you're blessed enough to play athletics and have somebody else foot the bill for that, that's a bonus. You leverage athletic ability to try and help you get into college. That's the way we look at it."

Hooper has offers from nearly each Pac-12 school, including nearby Stanford and California, and also visited Northwestern during the trip to the midwest.

"Both are very impressive schools," Michael Hooper said. "We're now going to sit back and evaluate where things stand, and see what the next step it. We really liked Notre Dame. It was a very nice school."

There is no timetable for an announcement to be made, and Hooper said no official visits have been set up. Top Stories