Clifford gets inside look
In a family of Notre Dame fans, Sean Clifford has already visited South Bend several times. On Saturday, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound sophomore quarterback from St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, made his first trip to the school as a recruit.
“I thought it was a really good experience, my first time being a recruit at Notre Dame,” Clifford said. “It was exciting and I really enjoyed it.”
Clifford and teammate Matt Bockhorst, a sophomore offensive lineman, spent most of the day on campus getting to know the Irish coaches and players. They also sat in on position meetings and watched the Irish prepare for this weekend’s Blue-Gold Game.
It was during the quarterbacks meeting that Clifford learned more about the Irish offense under new offensive coordinator Mike Sanford and head coach Brian Kelly.
“That was a good experience,” Clifford said. “We watched film from their latest practice and evaluated it. I got to learn a little bit of their offense, which was fun to kind of figure out what exactly they’re running and I could kind of relate to their playbook from my high school.”
Sanford made a positive impression.
“He was really nice. He’s funny and really relates well to the players,” Clifford said. “I really enjoyed him and his coaching style; he’s young and new and I think that really helps him develop good relationships with the players. I could just tell all the quarterbacks really enjoyed working underneath him.”
During that meeting the quarterbacks reviewed practice film and talked potential improvements.
Clifford was impressed with Sanford’s ability to get his point across without much effort.
“It wasn’t that intense,” he said. “It was kind of laid back going over mistakes, which there wasn’t a ton of them. It was just laid back correcting the errors.”
Sanford also laid out the Irish plan for recruiting Clifford in the future.
“He just wants to start the process of recruiting me and get me to a camp,” Clifford said. “I’m going to attend the Irish Invasion camp and he’s going to come to my school and watch me throw sometime in April or May. My goal is to get an offer from Notre Dame. I hope to accomplish that this spring and at the Irish Invasion camp show them that I’m worthy of an offer.”
Clifford spent a few minutes talking to Malik Zaire, who played at Archbishop Alter High School in Southwest Ohio.
“It was kind of funny knowing Malik is a Cincinnati native, from Alter,” Clifford said. “I got to talk to him about X and Alter and all that stuff.”