LaBruna visits dream school

An injury shortened Andrew LaBruna’s junior season but the quarterback is focused on playing college football. On Monday he visited Notre Dame, his dream school, and the Irish will be out in California this spring to see him throw.

Junior quarterback Andrew LaBruna spent most of his formative years in parochial schools with dreams of playing Notre Dame.

On Monday, the 6-foot-1, 200-pounder from Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Corona, Calif., got a taste of what it would be like to suit up for the Irish when he and three-star safety Micah Croom visited the school together.

“There was a huge camp in Chicago this weekend and I was going to visit all the Big Ten schools so I extended my flight from Sunday to Monday and I got a chance to visit Notre Dame,” LaBruna said. “It was a great experience.”

LaBruna has been in contact with the Notre Dame coaching staff for several months and was thrilled to finally meet them in person.

Head coach Brian Kelly, offensive coordinator Mike Sanford and recruiting coordinator Mike Denbrock were among the Irish coaches to spend a few minutes talking to both LaBruna and Crooms.

“Coach Kelly just came by and said hello and shook our hands and just telling us about how he has high goals for this year and they should do well,” LaBruna said. “Coach Sanford saw my film before but he said he’s going to come out for my showcase on May 6. He said that quarterback is a different position. You can’t just watch it on film and offer. There are different tangibles you need to play quarterback so he wants to come and see me throw live in person and he’s going to evaluate me right then and there and we’ll see what happens. I just have to do my thing.”

The trip to Notre Dame was LaBruna’s third. He’d attended two games to watch longtime friend and neighbor Troy Niklas in action for the Irish.

Niklas, who played tight end for the Irish, grew up down the street and introduced LaBruna and his brother, two of three LaBruna triplets, to the game.

“He’s like a brother to me,” LaBruna said. “He lives a few doors down and since fifth grade he’s been coming over and teaching us how to play football. We went out there freshman year for one of his games against BYU.”

LaBruna also has heard from Boston College, Colorado, Arizona State, Arizona, Washington State, Michigan, Illinois and several other college programs. Most will head to Corona on May 6 for his showcase event.

He hopes that leads to several scholarship offers. LaBruna has yet to land an offer.

“A lot of the coaches haven’t seen me throw yet because this was my first year playing varsity football,” he said. “That’s the biggest thing that is holding me back. I think once May 6 comes around and they see what I really can do on the field that’s going to push them to offer me, hopefully.”

In six games before suffering bruised ribs LaBruna threw for 1,600 yards and 14 touchdowns.


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