Randolph Impressed By Return to South Bend

Irish pledge Doug Randolph recaps his official visit and talks about the Irish being in the National Championship game.

After reassessing his verbal pledge to Stanford, Doug Randolph of Woodberry Forest (VA) found Notre Dame more to his liking and made a change, giving Irish head coach Brian Kelly his pledge in early September. This past weekend, Randolph made a return trip to South Bend for his official visit and came away impressed.

"This was my first time seeing the team practice in awhile," said Randolph. "It was the tempo of practice and the upbeat energy of it that impressed me most. There was nobody left walking in-between drills as everyone was excited and sprinting around that stood out to me."

One of the highlights of the trip was the Irish football banquet.

"I found the banquet really entertaining," said Randolph. "I've found our football banquets kind of boring and predictable. However, this one was pretty unexpected and interesting at the same time."

Helping Randolph during his visit was a familiar face.

"C.J. Prosise was my host and was one of my best friends when he was in school with me," Randolph said. "Now with him being there and doing well made my visit real easy."

With his family also in attendance Randolph learned quickly how his family felt about his decision to play for Irish head coach Brian Kelly and his staff.

"The visit went well as my brother and sister finally got a chance to meet Coach Kelly," said Randolph. "My whole family loves him, but after talking with Coach Kelly and Coach (Bob) Diaco, my mother was like completely blown away with how the program was going and who was in control of it."

One thing Randolph has not found true is the perception of Brian Kelly's temper being an issue.

"I really don't pay too much attention to the media," explained Randoph. "I only found out late in the spring that he had a reputation of being a hot head. But talking with him on the phone he didn't seem like that type of guy as he's always very composed and was fully vested in me and what I can do."

As with other members of the 2013 class bonds have been formed between several members of the class with Randolph talking about the depth of the friendships he's already built before arriving on campus.

"I've been bonding with the same guys since the whole recruiting process even started for us," said Randolph. "James (Onwualu), Devin (Butler) and Alex (Anzalone), who couldn't go this past weekend and is one of my best friends, along with Mike (Heuerman) and all of those guys."

"I'm really not sure what made us come together so quickly but we have group chats with each other and just keep in touch. But I would have to say James is our recruiting coordinator."

While Randolph has been at a distance from the program he's been watching and during the Irish final game of the regular season that found him caught up with Irish fever.

"It's crazy," said Randolph. "We were watching the USC game and my dad turned to me and gives me a high five and says this is crazy. When I committed I was not expecting them to have a perfect season as I was just expecting snow when I got there and things coming together in the upcoming years.

"The national championship game should be great as a lot of my friends at school are Alabama fans, so I'll get to wear all my Notre Dame gear and talk some trash. So it will be pretty crazy to watch the team that I'm committed to lay for in the national championship game."

As for his upcoming home visit from Kelly, Randolph knows the month but is not sure on the day.

"I think Coach Kelly will be visiting in January but I'm not sure of the day," said Randolph. "I'm not enrolling early unfortunately as it didn't work out with my school and everything. But it would have been nice to. However, I get to work hard and enjoy my last semester of high school."

IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories