Irish ramp up interest in Rene

Three-star cornerback Patrice Rene was scheduled to visit Notre Dame last Monday. Weather nixed those plans, but Rene hopes to reschedule that trip.

Three-star cornerback Patrice Rene was scheduled to visit Notre Dame after the Best of the Midwest Combine in Indianapolis on Monday.

Inclement weather forced the 6-foot-1, 193-pounder from Episcopal Academy in Alexandria, Va., to postpone that trip after plenty of anticipation about his first look at the Irish program.

“I’ve been talking to the coaches a lot and told them I’m trying to plan on getting up there soon in a couple weeks if not months,” Rene said.

Notre Dame first reached out to Rene last year when he was still attending high school in Canada. The Irish interest has intensified recently and Rene keeps regular contact with Irish assistant coaches Scott Booker and Mike Elston.

The Irish recently reviewed Rene’s junior film and hinted an offer could be in the works.

“I talked to them last year a little bit but this year is when they started pushing the recruiting process. They came and visited me at school a couple of times,” he said. “I’ve been talking mostly to coach Booker and coach Elston. I think they’re great. Coach Booker came to my school I think three times already. Coach Elston, he talks to me on a regular basis. We communicate online. I think they’re great and they tell me they’re excited. I talked to coach Booker (on Wednesday). He said he liked my film and liked what he saw and I could be offered in the next couple days or weeks.”

An offer could put the Irish on Rene’s early short list.

“I have a lot of interest in Notre Dame,” he said. “It’s a real good school and great university with great academics first and foremost and the football program is just crazy with all the tradition they have and what coach (Brian) Kelly is doing. I just love everything about Notre Dame.”

Rene, who ran a 4.52 in the 40-yard dash at the Best of the Midwest combine, already holds offers from 17 college programs including Duke, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee and Virginia Tech, among others.

He’s already visited a few of those colleges and hopes to see more before his senior season.

“I went to Penn State, Ohio State, Maryland, Virginia Tech and that’s about it,” he said. “I have a couple visits coming up. On Friday I’m headed to Boston College and the following week I’ll be at Northwestern. Coming back from spring break I’m doing a little North Carolina tour where I’ll go to North Carolina, Wake Forest and Duke.”

As a junior, Rene accounted for more than 300 receiving yards and five touchdowns on offense. He recorded 25 tackles and picked off a pair of passes, returning both for touchdowns, from his cornerback position.

Most schools like Rene at cornerback but a few believe he’s growing into a safety.

“They say if I keep growing they’ll just move me to safety but most schools want to keep me at corner and see how that goes,” Rene said. “I feel comfortable at both positions. I’m willing to play safety but I really enjoy corner the most. That’s my favorite position to play so that’s the position I want to stay at.”

Notre Dame projects Rene at cornerback.

“They’re looking for tall, long corners just like I am,” Rene said. “They want to try to keep me at corner but if I keep growing I could be the perfectly molded to play safety. I feel like I have the attributes, the speed, the quickness and good hands to play corner so they want to play me there.”

With the recruiting process taking off, Rene plans to remain patient while investigating all of his options.

“More coaches and more schools have been coming in and contacting me so I’m just waiting for things to die down a bit so I can really start making my cuts,” he said. “I’m trying to get the most visits I can so I can really get a feel for who I like and what I like so I can start narrowing it down.” Top Stories