OT Cole Recaps Notre Dame Visit

East Lake High (Tarpon Springs, Fla.) offensive tackle Mason Cole was on Notre Dame's campus Monday, and the elite class of 2014 prospect broke down his visit and spoke about a possible return trip.

Fresh off a visit to Notre Dame, standout class of 2014 offensive tackle Mason Cole is planning on making a return trip to campus.

The 6-foot-5, 275-pound Cole, who received an offer from the Irish last week, isn't sure when it will be, but the desire to get back to campus for game underscores his feelings toward the Irish after a Monday visit.

"I'm done with summer visits, but my parents and I, we're going to sit down and narrow down the schools, and figure out which schools I really want to think hard about," Cole said. "Those schools I will be going to games this fall. (Notre Dame) is on that list without a doubt."

Cole, who stars at East Lake High (Tarpon Spring, Fla.), added he could see himself returning to the midwest for college because of his strong ties to the area.

"I grew up watching the Big Ten because I'm from Chicago," he said. "It would nice to go to Notre Dame because that's an hour-and-a-half from my grandparent, who live in Chicago. It would be just like going somewhere in Florida an hour-and-a-half from where I live. Actually, it would be a nice change, living in the cold again. I'd like it a lot."

Growing up near the Notre Dame campus, Cole already had knowledge of the school. But his visit to campus provided markedly more insight.

"I knew about their tradition but I learned a lot," he said. "There's a lot more tradition that you wouldn't know unless you went there and saw it. There's so much tradition and history at the school it's crazy."

Many of the landmark buildings caught Cole's attention.

"Of course, the football and walking down the tunnel and touch the "Play like Champions" sign and all that good stuff (stood out)," he said. "But even the tour itself, the Golden Dome, walking in there and see the church and everything on campus, just knowing how many people walked through the doors and how long it's been there is pretty cool.

"You can feel the history on campus. It's really cool."

Irish coach Brian Kelly was out of town so Cole didn't get the opportunity to meet with him, but the visit included a sit-down with Irish offensive line coach Harry Hiestand.

"Me and my parents sat down with (offensive line) coach (Harry) Heistand, and he talked a little bit about schemes and where I fit in on the roster," Cole said. "It was pretty good. He's real up front and honest. You can tell he's been in coaching for so long, with the NFL and the colleges. He knows the game really well and he's real up front with you."

Cole also holds offers from the likes of Clemson, Florida State, Michigan, Ohio State, South Carolina and USC, and the Irish staff made it known how much they wanted him.

"The coaches mentality was it's still early, we're not going to push you," Cole said. "But once Sept. 1 comes, they'll be in contact via Facebook and email and all that stuff, that's when they're going to pick up recruiting heavily."

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