Irish the clear leader for Hoge

2015 No. 1 offensive guard Tristen Hoge has Notre Dame sitting at the top of his list, and he's nearing a final decision.

Notre Dame hosted junior Tristen Hoge of Pocatello (Idaho) Highland and his mother and father this past weekend.

"It was fantastic," the nation's No. 1 ranked offensive guard in 2015 said. "It was one of the best times that I've ever had."

Hoge pointed out the entire vibe Notre Dame offers is something that is unmatched.

"Friday, I got to hang out with the players," Hoge said. "On Saturday, the entire day was a great experience. Oh man, it was just one of a kind. You can't find that atmosphere anywhere else. The pep rally was awesome, and so was the walk the next day. Like I said, you just can't find that anywhere else."

During his visit, Hoge was able to develop a good relationship with 2014 offensive tackle Alex Bars, who provided Hoge with insight into why he chose the Irish.

"The players are great," Hoge said. "I got to know some of the other recruits too, and I enjoyed that. Alex Bars is a great guy and he comes from a great family. He was telling me why he committed to Notre Dame, and it didn't have anything to do with his dad going there. He said Notre Dame is real, it's authentic, and so are its people."

"I noticed what Alex was talking about in the locker room," Bars added. "There was no arrogance. It was such a great atmosphere and there was such a team feeling. The game was a close one, but that's what made it fun to watch."

Hoge released a top four last week of Florida, Notre Dame, Penn State and UCLA. One team is running far above the rest of the pack.

"Notre Dame is my No. 1," Hoge said. "I haven't really picked a second or third team yet. It will be hard to beat Notre Dame."

Hoge doesn't plan on dragging out the recruiting process, and has an end date in mind.

I plan on taking an official visit to Florida, and then I want to decide by the end of this winter," Hoge said. Top Stories