Lockhart excited about Notre Dame offer

Defensive end James Lockhart added an offer from Notre Dame on Sunday night, and the Ennis, Texas standout talks about the Irish and what he's looking for in a future home.

Notre Dame cornerbacks coach Kerry Cooks wasted no time in Texas on Sunday night, offering a pair of four-star prospects -- safety Justin Dunning and defensive end James Lockhart of Ennis (Texas) High.

"It was kind of crazy, actually," Lockhart said. "I wasn't expecting it. I had just woken up from a nap and found out Notre Dame was offering me a scholarship. I asked Coach Cooks, 'Is this really happening?'"

The 6-foot-4, 240-pound defensive end said Cooks explained why Notre Dame chose to offer him a scholarship.

"Notre Dame recruits a lot of elite players who are explosive and powerful, and he thinks that I fit that bill," Lockhart said. "They think I'd be a great fit in Notre Dame's 3-4 defense."

"I'm not sure exactly what position they want me to play," Lockhart added. "We didn't discuss that, but I'm sure we'll get to that in the future. I don't know if it's linebacker or defensive end. Most schools like me as defensive end, but Oklahoma likes me as linebacker."

Lockhart also holds offers from Baylor, Iowa, Ohio State, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State. Other schools he named as potentially close to offering were Colorado and LSU.

"I don't really have a leader," Lockhart said. "Not at the moment. I'm just going to play everything by ear."

Lockhart said he's already discussed the Irish offer with his father, who was recruited by Notre Dame in the 1990s.

"When I think of Notre Dame, I think of tradition and a really good school," Lockhart said. "When my dad was my age and going through the recruiting process, he was going to go to Notre Dame, but unfortunately he didn't have high enough SAT scores."

"I haven't made a decision on that part," Lockhart said, referring to distance from home. "The way I look at, playing time is the most important thing. Playing time and education."

Lockhart has visited Baylor so far this season, and he has plans to see Notre Dame play Arizona Sate in Dallas.

No other visits are planned, as Lockhart said his focus is on his junior season.

"I put pressure on the quarterback," Lockhart said. "When I'm not making a tackle for loss or a sack, I make the quarterback scramble and get out of his comfort zone."

Lockhart is a four-star prospect and ranked as the No. 22 defensive end in the class of 2015.

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