NSD Q&A: Brandon Tiassum
Jake Brown: Now that the process is complete, what are your thoughts on how the whole thing worked out?
Brandon Tiassum: It worked out great. I saw myself gradually, the better I performed the higher up the schools became, the more prestigious the schools became. The better I got the better the schools became. I loved the process, loved all of it.
JB: What was your first offer?
JB: What was your reaction to that first offer?
BT: It was great. I actually did not expect to get the offer at that time. It was great. I thought IU was the best football program in the world. I had never actually been to a college game before my junior year. When I got that offer in the summer, I just thought IU was the best school in the world and I didn’t want to play anywhere else. I didn’t think anything could be better than that.
JB: What was it like as the offers started to pile up?
BT: It was kinda crazy actually because I had my MAC schools but then my recruiting pretty much just stopped. I didn’t get another offer. I got my two MAC offers in like October then I didn’t get another offer until like March. I was just seeing everybody around picking up offers left and right and I was like, ‘These dudes aren’t better than I am.’ In March I started getting two or three offers a week and then my recruiting just exploded from there.
JB: What do you think schools saw in the spring of your junior year?
BT: Every camp I was going to I was either top three or won MVP. I won the Rivals Camp MVP and that was the final straw to where they knew I was able to play and they needed to make a move.
JB: What improved so much at that point?
BT: My first step. Getting off the ball. I know I do need to improve with my hand fighting and using my hands and my long arms. That’s always been a strength of my game. Once that became visible on the film and on the camp circuit I think teams decided to pull the trigger.
JB: So then Notre Dame comes calling. What do you remember of that first contact?
BT: Hearing from Notre Dame, I got a call from coach (Mike) Elston one time. I talked to him and he just seemed like a regular coach and he wanted me to come up there. I came up with a whole group of guys. I didn’t think too much into it. He just wanted me to come visit. So I go up there and we’re in this big group. They were giving us a tour and coach Elston pulled me aside and has a bunch of grapes in his hand. He’s just eating them. He said, ‘You know Brandon, I could see you playing here. You’ve got the size, you’re what we want.’ And he’s eating grapes. He said, ‘Improve your game and come back for camp this summer and we’ll see how things go.’ That’s what I did. I was planning on coming to Irish Invasion but Notre Dame ended up offering a week and a half before that. I went up there early and committed.
JB: Did you just feel like there was no reason to wait?
BT: Yeah, there was no reason. He told me, ‘Why wait? If other schools haven’t offered by now they don’t really want you.’ That’s pretty much it. I just love everything about Notre Dame. There isn’t one thing I could complain about. You couldn’t say they’re not a good school. You couldn’t say the academics aren’t that great. The location. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s the perfect fit for me and they play a 4-3 and a 3-4, which is a better chance to showcase my skill set and my size. That fits well toward the type of player I am.
JB: Were there any other schools that tried to make a run at you after being committed?
BT: There were a few schools. IU was a big one. Tennessee. Ohio State recently. After I committed, like a week later Ohio State was talking to me more and more. Then it kinda died off then recently they picked back up. Kentucky a little bit. Mostly Louisville, IU and Ohio State, those were the three big schools that contacted me after I committed.
JB: Was it easy to say no to those schools?
BT: Yeah, it was easy. My biggest thing is loyalty. ND was loyal to me so I can only be loyal to them. I didn’t think about taking any other officials or visiting anywhere else besides ND. I’m Irish 100 percent.
JB: What do you look forward to most now that this thing is official and you’ll be at Notre Dame in June?
BT: Just seeing where I stack up. I’m a freshman all over again, so I’m not the big guy on campus anymore. I just want to see where I stack up with the players there and see what I need to improve on and where I can find playing time. That’s the biggest thing I’m looking forward to.
JB: Any expectations for your freshman year?
BT: I’m gonna see where the team needs me and where they want me. I would love to play and be in the rotation my freshman year but if I had to take a redshirt year, that’s just another year I have to get better and hone my craft.
JB: Last thing, what do you want Notre Dame fans to know they’ll see over the next four or five years?
BT: Just big plays and a solid interior presence. I’m gonna play to the best of my abilities and give it everything I have.