Dickerson absolutlely thrilled with Irish

Defensive lineman Matt Dickerson of San Mateo (Calif.) Junipero Serra goes in-depth on his entire weekend at Notre Dame, including his conversations with the staff and how he knew he belonged with the Irish.

Notre Dame recruiting coordinator Tony Alford was as upfront as it gets with defensive lineman Matt Dickerson when the San Mateo (Calif.) Junipero Serra standout visited campus over the weekend.

"Coach Alford told me straight up that I was either going to love the school or not like it all by Friday afternoon," Dickerson said. "There was no in-between."

But, Dickerson said it didn't even take a full day for him to realize where he belonged.

"I loved it right when I got there," Dickerson said. "I am so excited; the whole way back home to California, I was kind of in a daze. I was up until 5 a.m. on Friday night talking with my dad about how much I loved Notre Dame. I couldn't fall asleep, I was thinking about it so much."

Dickerson arrived in Notre Dame on Thursday night, fresh off visits to USC and UCLA the weekend prior.

"My parents and I got into South Bend from Chicago around 5:30 p.m., and we checked into the hotel and just hung out that night," Dickerson said. "We had all day Friday and Saturday to actually do stuff. On Friday, we woke up and met with the coaches for a campus tour, and then I sat in on a position meeting. Campus was beautiful. I couldn't get enough of it. I could have walked the same route we took three more times."

Dickerson said in his first commitment interview with IrishEyes.com that it was the combination of athletics, academics and religion that pushed him to commit to the Irish. But, there was another factor that played a considerable role in his decision.

"Friday night, I hung out with the players," Dickerson said. "I got to hang out with Max Redfield a lot. It's crazy how similar the players are to me. We all talk the same and act the same. If I had a brother, that's how they would act. That's part of the reason why I felt so comfortable committing."

"I was kind of the pack mule on Friday night," Dickerson added, laughing. "I helped them all move into their dorms, but it was a lot of fun. They were all talking trash to each other about the upcoming week of practice."

The original plan for Dickerson was to end the recruiting process before his senior year kicked off in a couple of weeks. As a result, Notre Dame assistant Mike Denbrock took advantage of Dickerson's decision timeline and unabashed enthusiasm for the Irish that was completely evident by day two.

"On Saturday, we finished up campus tours and I got to see the stadium," Dickerson said. "That was definitely one of the highlights. Then Coach Denbrock brought me into a room on Saturday night, and kind of asked, 'are you ready?' I told him I thought Notre Dame was the perfect school, and he said, 'I see what you're trying to do.' That's when he brought me to Coach Kelly, and I committed. They were all really excited."

"After that, my parents and I went to the bookstore and bought as much Notre Dame gear as we could," Dickerson said. "I have a twin sister, who is looking at colleges for shot put and discus, so I got her some stuff."

The 6-foot-5, 275-pound lineman said the staff hasn't specified yet where he's going to play on the line when he arrives at Notre Dame.

"I'm 275 pounds right now," Dickerson said. "They don't necessarily want me gaining any weight this season. They said they'd put me through their program next year. I can get up to at least 295 when I get there. They mentioned playing end, tackle, or even nose guard if I got big enough."

Dickerson, a prospect that went from 0 to 16 offers in one month during the spring, chose the Irish over an impressive slew of competitors.

"The main ones were UCLA, Washington, USC and Oregon," Dickerson said. "But, I will only be taking an official visit to Notre Dame. I have already let the other coaches know that I'm completely solid to Notre Dame and to stop the recruiting process."

"I always had high expectations for this visit," Dickerson said. "I kept saying to myself before I got there, 'I hope I love it.' And, it couldn't have gone better."

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