Before the Irish kicked off against Texas on Saturday the four-star junior tight end from Arlington Heights, Ill., walked through the tunnel with his family. He’d never done so on a game day and the atmosphere was already picking up steam as specialists started their warmups.
“I wasn’t expecting it to be like that,” Kmet said. “I was expecting it to be fun and cool but it was just unbelievable. That was the first Notre Dame game I’ve ever been to. It was just unbelievable. I’ve never been to anything like that.”
Notre Dame caught Kmet by surprise again not long after he made it to the stadium.
Four coaches stopped to talk with the 6-foot-6, 240-pound prospect as players got loose. Recruiting coordinator Mike Elston checked in. So did area recruiter Mike Denbrock, offensive coordinator Mike Sanford and tight ends coach Scott Booker.
They’ve continued their persistent approach since offering Kmet a scholarship in June after his performance at the Irish Invasion.
“They were just asking me if I was enjoying it so far and told me to have a great time during the game,” Kmet said. “Then they were just telling me how much they want me and need me at Notre Dame. I didn’t really expect it just because you’d think they would be all about the game. I thought that was pretty cool they took a couple minutes of their time to say hi and stuff.”
“They have a really good offense with Malik Zaire,” Kmet said. “I thought he did really well. Their defense is just really fast and physical. I actually talked to coach Sanford and coach Booker after the game and they think the offense can get better and better each week. I think it’ll be really good this year.”
Now Kmet will compare Notre Dame against Ohio State, which also sits at the top of his list.
Kmet will visit Columbus on Oct. 17 when the Buckeyes play Penn State. Once that visit is complete, Kmet envisions being able to make a decision. He could be off the market by the end of next month.
He’s visited Notre Dame four times since spring.
“I have an idea of what they’re all about and I’m comfortable with it,” Kmet said. “After I go to Ohio State I think I’m just gonna review things and probably make my decision after that.”
Four-star tight end Brock Wright is already committed to Notre Dame in the Class of 2017. Kmet would close out recruiting at the position if he were to also offer a verbal pledge.
“I just need to see their game day atmosphere and just see if I would be a fit for that,” Kmet said. “Just see if I’d be comfortable with how they do things. So at this point it’s just kind of a comfort thing. I like both schools. I like them a lot. I’ve developed great relationships with all the coaches. I just need to take the choice that’s best for me.”