Bunting has a top three

Hinsdale (Ill.) Hinsdale Central tight end Ian Bunting added a ninth offer to his list when Notre Dame offered on Friday night. Bunting discusses where the Irish stand after the offer and what the staff is telling him about how many tight ends Notre Dame plans to take in 2014.

The Notre Dame staff capped off a statement day of recruiting on Friday by extending their fifth offer of the day to Hinsdale (Ill.) tight end Ian Bunting.

"The Notre Dame offer feels really great," Bunting said. "It's a big offer, and I'm definitely interested in Notre Dame football. I talked to Coach [Chuck] Martin about a week ago, and he said they were close to offering. I called him last night, and that's when he offered me."

Notre Dame was offer No. 9 for Bunting, and the talented tight end has seen his options increase in the past month, with recent offers from Oregon, Iowa, Northwestern and Mississippi.

"Right now, I really like Notre Dame, Oregon and Vanderbilt," he said. "Those are my top three. I also like Iowa, Indiana and Northwestern."

Bunting says the Irish offer stands out in his mind for obvious reasons.

"Notre Dame is obviously a great school," he said. "They have unrivaled tradition down there. Their tight ends are really successful and seem like they're always making it to the NFL."

What is Notre Dame's message to the 6-foot-6, 215-pound prospect?

"Notre Dame is telling me they need a guy to come in and replace Tyler," Bunting said. "They like how I'm a big guy and how I'm going to be a mis-match for a corner or a safety. They also like how they can flex me out wide and throw it to me, or how they can use me for blocking."

With the offer out to Bunting, the Irish have now extended offers to four tight ends in the 2014 class.

"Notre Dame said at this point, they're only going to take one tight end in this class, but they didn't say I needed to go ahead and commit if I wanted a spot. We haven't talked about that, yet," Bunting said.

Bunting doesn't expect his recruiting momentum to conclude with the Notre Dame offer.

"I talk to Nebraska and Ohio State a lot," he said. "Arizona State told me they are reviewing my film and will let me know if an offer is coming soon. Another school I'm interested in is Stanford."

With the heavy stream of offers coming his way, Bunting may re-evaluate his decision timeline.

"I originally wanted to make a decision before senior year, but now I'm not sure," Bunting said. "It might be just whenever I feel comfortable. I could hold out longer than I first expected."

Bunting is slated to visit Purdue tomorrow [Feb. 24] and Oregon on April 6. He plans to hit Notre Dame on April 13.

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