ND ranks high with Robinson

Four-star linebacker Curtis Robinson had strong feelings for Notre Dame even before visiting late last week. The trip reinforced his belief that Notre Dame would be a fit if he signs with the Irish in February.

Heading into his Notre Dame visit late last week, four-star linebacker Curtis Robinson already had a good idea of what to expect. He had heard plenty about the school from friends and family and in his communications with the Irish coaching staff.

The two-day visit confirmed Robinson’s preconceptions.

“I loved it,” said the 6-foot-3, 205-pound linebacker from Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif. “I already thought really highly of Notre Dame prior to the visit but it really reassured how I felt and it proved to me that I was right about how I felt. It was good to see everything in person rather than on TV or hear about it. I was really impressed with everything. Being in the locker room and walking on the field was awesome.”

Robinson and his mother flew into South Bend on Wednesday night and arrived on campus early on Thursday.

The Irish coaching staff rolled out the red carpet for Robinson, who spent the day touring campus, mingling with the coaches and some Irish players and meeting with academic personnel.

“I really got to see everything,” he said. “At first they took me through the facilities and I got to see the weight room and stuff like that, the practice field and the football offices. I got to meet the strength coaches and the rest of the coaches I hadn’t met yet. I also spent a lot of time in the University itself seeing a lot of the traditional stuff like the Basilica and the Grotto.”

One of the day’s highlights was meeting with Adam Sargent, Associate Director of Academic Services for Student Athletes.

“I spent time with Adam Sargent too, who is in charge of academics for the football players and really helps them with study hours and stuff like that and sets stuff up like that,” Robinson said. “That was really interesting.”

Later that day, Robinson connected with former Mater Dei standout, current Irish linebacker Joe Schmidt. The two would get together again the next day, this time with walk-on offensive lineman Sam Bush, another Mater Dei graduate.

“I spent some time with him that night and then on Friday I met up with him and Sam Bush again to kind of get that Mater Dei connection,” Robinson said. “He kind of told me how well he fit in there and how well Mater Dei compared to Notre Dame and that he thought I’d be a perfect fit. Getting to know me he felt that I was a perfect fit for Notre Dame. Obviously he’s biased but he felt it would be the right choice for me and he just kept showing me that.”

Schmidt also felt Robinson would be a perfect fit at linebacker.

“It was just the same kind of thing,” Robinson said. “He told me how similar it was to Mater Dei and how well prepared I’d be coming out of Mater Dei.”

On Friday, Robinson was able to sit in on the linebacker’s position meeting prior to practice.

“I got to sit down and talk to coach (Brian) VanGorder, the defensive coordinator, and he told me how I fit into the system and how he runs an NFL scheme, which I like,” Robinson said. “His scheme is really similar to the scheme I play in now at Mater Dei, which is good. I like that. It’s something I’m used to and feel comfortable in. That was good.”

Robinson also had an opportunity to speak with head coach Brian Kelly and the rest of the coaching staff.

The Irish helped their cause, although Robinson seems to be in no rush to commit.

“I’m still pretty open,” he said. “I haven’t narrowed anything down yet. I still have to take a trip to Stanford in April. After the trip to Stanford I might have an idea of schools that I want to narrow it down to but right now I’m not sure. Notre Dame is definitely high up in that.”

Robinson already has visited USC, UCLA and Cal.

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