Legacy back to check out Irish

Notre Dame legacy A.J. Dillon will get another look at the Irish this weekend. The junior running back plans to attend the Notre Dame game at Virginia on Saturday.

Junior running back A.J. Dillon attended the Irish Invasion last summer. On Saturday he’ll get his first look at the 2015 football squad when it travels to Virginia.

Dillon, a 6-foot-1, 230-pounder from Lawrence Academy in Groton, Mass., and the son of former Irish standout Tom Gatewood, will travel to Charlottesville with teammate Eddy Fish, a three-star offensive tackle being recruited by the Cavaliers.

“I’ll be at their game against Virginia so I’ll be able to see them play,” Dillon said. “I’m flying down with one of my friends, a tackle on our team. He’s being recruited by Virginia so we’re both going down.”

Virginia also has shown interest in Dillon. The Cavaliers are among the seven programs to have offered along with Boston College, Connecticut, Syracuse, Temple, Massachusetts and Villanova.

Notre Dame’s interest continues to intensify.

Dillon spoke with Irish running backs coach Autry Denson on Sept. 1, the first day college coaches could contact junior prospects.

“First we started off, he said, ‘Happy Sept. 1. It’s finally here so that makes it easier to talk,’” Dillon said. “He said he’s looking to build a relationship and to communicate. He wants me to come down to a game so I can meet the staff and get a closer look at the whole program. It was a good talk. We kind of joked around. I’m going to be talking to him a lot and definitely keep in touch with him. He said he had genuine interest and he said he was glad the interest was mutual because obviously I respect the program and respect him a lot. That’s a school that’s definitely really high on my list. I don’t have a top list or anything like that but that’s a school I hold near and dear.”

Alabama, Boston College, Maryland, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, Northwestern, Wake Forest, Duke and Indiana were among the other programs to touch base with Dillon that day.

“It was mostly through Twitter DMs and then from there I had some of the coaches’ numbers already so I called some of them,” Dillon said. “I had a nice conversation. It was mostly coaches I already had a connection with that I talked to on the phone but it was nice to start to build a relationship with some of the new coaches I haven’t talked to.”

Dillon recently sent out his transcript to a handful of college programs and he expects a few more offers to come his way.

Lawrence Academy kicked off practice last Friday and Dillon is eager to get back on the field to showcase the new skills he developed in the offseason.

“I’m feeling really good,” he said. “I’ve been working really hard with my trainer. I’ve been working on my agility and my moves, like my spin. It’s coming along really well. I feel like I’m going to be able to keep having power and once I come in and I’m able to spin and move around a lot quicker I think I’ll be able to beat some people on the outside.”

Dillon and his teammates open the season on Sept. 26.

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