Denbrock visits Midwest athlete
One of the first football games the junior cornerback from La Grange Park, Ill., ever attended was in South Bend when the Irish faced rival Michigan. Love still carries vivid memories of the experience.
“I guess since I was so small I noticed how big all the buildings were,” Love said. “Like Touchdown Jesus and all the historic buildings and the stadium. It’s not compared to most college stadiums now necessarily a big stadium but back then it was like a coliseum to me. I was amazed at how many people could be at one football game. That might’ve been my first football game ever at a big level.”
Love, whose father is a Notre Dame fan, has continued to keep tabs on the Irish while becoming less a supporter and more of a legitimate high school prospect.
Boston College, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Miami (Ohio) and Western Michigan have offered. Maryland, Iowa State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Stanford, Illinois State and Northern Illinois are among the programs that have stopped by Nazareth Academy the last couple weeks.
Notre Dame hit Nazareth on Monday with offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock, who plans to extend a junior day invitation when the date is set.
“He basically said that he needs to review my transcript,” Love said. “I’m sure of my transcript. I have good grades. He pointed out that I’m in theater because I am in theater. He said he looks for versatile men for the program. He talked about my position basically, offense or defense. They’re not sure what they want me as. They could see me playing for the Irish.”
Denbrock is similar to many coaches by keeping Love’s future position flexible. Most programs told the 5-foot-11, 165-pound prospect cornerback to start the process. Now some are doubling back with options on offense.
“At first it was all defense,” Love said. “Nobody gave me the time of day on offense. I think that’s because my sophomore film was pretty solid on defense. But this year — Indiana offered me as a DB and Illinois offered me as a DB — but then Indiana came through (Monday) and they asked if I’m comfortable playing either way. I said I would play wherever they need me to play. I think some have finally realized I can play both ways and I do love offense. I’m comfortable playing any position.”
Love and college coaches alike see a future on special teams as well.
“I’ve been told that I have excellent field vision,” Love said. “That’s why I’m such a special return man, because I can see the whole field and if I’m in the open field I likely won’t get tackled. I think I have just a different sense of the game. I know I have a different sense of the game. I know what teams are gonna do before they do it. I know how players will react or move before they move. I can read people. That’s how I’ve always been.”