Irish offer shakes things up for Hendrix

Safety Payton Hendrix of Dallas (Texas) Bishop Dunne explains how earning an offer from Notre Dame is potentially a game-changer in his recruitment, and he talks about what his plans are for the fall.

Turns out being teammates with defensive back duo Nick Watkins and Jovan Pruitt helps you in more ways than one.

"It's funny," said Bishop Dunne head football coach Michael Johnson, "Just about every coach that's come through here to see Nick and Jovan have stopped and asked, 'Who's that good looking tall kid over there? That DB. How did we miss him last time?'"

Johnson is talking about 6-foot-2, 190-pound safety Payton Hendrix, who transferred to Bishop Dunne from Red Oak after the 2012 season. Hendrix has seen his recruitment completely take off since making the switch in schools.

"It's gone really well," Hendrix said. "I was pretty under the radar and that's not really the case anymore. It's crazy because all I've played is spring ball. I haven't played a season yet, but I've had an opportunity to show my talents."

On Tuesday, the Irish offered. Now, Hendrix admits he has some re-evaluation to do.

"I was going to come out with my top five before the season, but now it might take a little longer than that," Hendrix said. "Notre Dame definitely shakes up my recruitment."

"I was really happy and excited to get this offer," Hendrix added. "I talked a little bit with Notre Dame in the spring, but that was about it, so this came as a surprise. [Notre Dame assistant] Coach (Kerry) Cooks likes that I'm physical and very rangy. He thinks I fit well in Notre Dame's scheme of things as a safety. I know Nick (Watkins) really liked his visit in the spring, so I will talk to him more about it."

Hendrix holds close to 20 offers, but there are a few programs on him the hardest.

"Arkansas, Texas Tech, Arizona State and Kansas State are some of the main ones I'm hearing from right now," Hendrix said. "This summer, I visited Arkansas, Kansas State, Washington and Texas Tech, but I'm done with visits until the season. I'm not sure where I'm going to take of my officials, and I may not take all of them if something feels right."

When Hendrix does decide sometime this fall season, he's emphasizing academics in his decision.

"First and foremost, I'm going to look at academics," Hendrix said. "I'm also going to consider early playing time, coaches that can help get me to the next level, and if my parents and I feel comfortable at that school."

The Irish have the criteria Hendrix is looking for.

"Notre Dame has great academics, first off," Hendrix said. "They are a big time program that just played in the national championship. They have a lot of players that get to the league, and they're really exposed on national television. There are a lot of pluses to Notre Dame."

Hendrix is ranked as a three-star prospect and as the No. 40 safety in the class of 2014 by Hendrix finished with 80-plus tackles and four interceptions for Red Oak in 2012. Top Stories