Barajas earns Irish offer, names leader

Outside linebacker Josh Barajas of Merrillville (Ind.) Andrean recaps his junior day experience at Notre Dame, including his thoughts on earning an Irish offer. He explains why he's so high on Notre Dame, and at what moment during the visit he almost decided to commit.

Notre Dame offered its first in-state player on Saturday at junior day when it extended an offer to four-star outside linebacker Josh Barajas of Merrillville (Ind.) Andrean.

"I had a meeting with just me and Coach Kelly in his office, and that's when he told me the good news," Barajas said. "He told me what everything that attending Notre Dame could do for me and that he really likes me as a player and as a person."

Is Notre Dame now Barajas' leader?

Born in Dallas, Texas, Barajas spent most of his early childhood in Kentucky before moving to Chicago briefly and then Indianapolis in the 7th grade. It was his first time seeing Notre Dame when he visited on Saturday.

"I really like the tradition, the football program overall, and especially the coaching staff," Barajas said. "The facilities and campus are awesome. There was so much to see Barajas' area recruiter is Mike Elston, though he's also developing relationships with outside linebackers coach Bob Elliott and defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder.

In fact, when Barajas was with VanGorder, he almost decided to commit to Notre Dame on the spot.

"Coach VanGorder is a really cool guy," Barajas said. "He really seems like he has all of his priorities straight. He's really confident, and he definitely knows what he's talking about. That's when I thought about committing, when I was talking with him. But, I thought I should think about it a little more."

The 6-foot-3, 212-pound linebacker is also high on Michigan and Penn State.

"It's going to be the coaching staff probably that sets the school I choose apart from the others," Barajas said. "I plan on committing before my senior year."

This spring, Barajas will be hitting the road frequently, with planned visits to Ole Miss, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State and Virginia Tech.

Barajas expects to be back on Notre Dame's campus this summer for camp.

"I got off blocks really well," Barajas said. "I make a lot of tackles, and I'm long and get out and run as well."

Barjas is a four-star prospect and is ranked as the No. 16 outside linebacker in the class of 2015. Top Stories