“When I first drove up to Notre Dame, the facilities and campus were crazy,” Claypool said. “The buildings and the layout, it was amazing.”
The four-star athlete made the trip to Notre Dame from Abbottsville, B.C. to participate in the Irish Invasion. A couple trainers accompanied him on the trip.
“We got there Thursday, and I got to chill with some of the players and recruits,” Claypool said. “On Friday, I saw a lot more of campus and watched the team practice. It was nice to see them getting after it even though they couldn’t use the football. They were still putting in work.”
During the Irish Invasion, Claypool turned heads with his one-on-one work inside the red zone. Whether he opted to cut inside or take the corner route, the result was the same – he got the best of his opponent.
“I’m usually good at jump balls,” Claypool said. “But I’m good at turning my hips if I need to and taking the inside route if I don’t think I’ll have the right opportunity in the corner.
“Camp was pretty good. I wish it had been a little longer and I could have gotten more reps, but there were some good players out there.”
Notre Dame associate head coach and wide receivers coach Mike Denbrock allotted specific time during the weekend to spend one-on-one time with Claypool.
“I hung out with him quite a bit,” Claypool said. “He said he was quite impressed with me at camp. We clicked well. He told me that I was a great fit at Notre Dame because of my character. On the field, he said I was a great player that could run regardless of what position I play. They decided to keep me on offense, but they’re just not sure what position I’ll play. They could move me to hybrid tight end.”
Claypool concluded his first visit to Notre Dame with a private conversation with a Brian Kelly inside the head coach’s office.
“Before I left I went to the coaches’ offices and talked to Brian Kelly,” Claypool said. “He basically told me what was going on with the school and how the mix of academics and football they offer is so unique. He touched on everything that Notre Dame could offer me.”
Claypool could finish his recruitment next month at The Opening in Oregon.
“Notre Dame is definitely at the top,” Claypool said. “They’re in my top three for sure. Michigan and Oregon are the other two. I will probably announce a commitment at The Opening. If I don’t announce a commitment, I’ll announce my top schools.”
Claypool visited other finalists Michigan and Oregon in June. The lone visit scheduled for the future is one to Rutgers at the end of this month.
Claypool is a four-star prospect and is ranked as the No. 15 tight end in the Class of 2016.