Four-star defensive end Carlo Kemp visited Notre Dame once before when he camped in 2014, but this weekend’s official visit had a different feel.
“It was so awesome,” Kemp said. “It was great to be out there a second time but this time with all of my family. I loved being back on campus and getting to talk to some of the coaches that I didn’t get to talk with last time at camp.”
Kemp was joined on the visit by his mother, younger brother and grandparents.
“On Friday, we got to see the end of the walk-through and talked with the coaches,” Kemp said. “Then we went out to dinner at Ruth Chris, and they treated us to a really nice steak. Everything was very nice.
“On Saturday, we got over to the stadium and I spoke with some of the teachers and academic people. The Player Walk was great. So much tradition, and it was cool seeing the players walking by and everyone sticking out their hands to give them high-fives.”
Associate Director of Academics, Adam Sargent, spoke with Kemp on Sunday morning.
“We woke up early and had brunch and then I spoke with the guy they call Sarg,” Kemp said. “He gave me a really great speech. To be honest, it really inspired me. It was incredible, and he’s incredible man.”
Before departing Notre Dame, Kemp spent time with three members of the coaching staff.
“We went to the Gug, and I watched film of the Texas game with coach (Mike) Elston,” Kemp said. “My mom and I spent about 45 minutes with coach (Brian) Kelly, Elston and (Brian) VanGorder, separately.
“Coach Kelly told me that Notre Dame is not for everyone. He said that you go to Notre Dame to become a better man and not just a better football player.
“Coach Elston said that I look like a rush end in a two- or three-point stance. He said they switch all the time from a 4-3 to 3-4, so I would be moving around. Coach VanGorder said he didn’t really know exactly how I would develop, but if I were to play right now that I would be a rush end.”
The 6-foot-2 ½, 258-pound Colorado native is the nephew of Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano and San Diego Chargers’ defensive coordinator John Pagano. Kemp’s mom, Peach Pagano, is their sister.
“I think my mom feels exactly the same way that I do,” Kemp said. “She loves this place and would feel safe sending me here.”
Kemp could end the recruiting process in the near future, but he faces a difficult decision along the way.
“It’s just hard,” Kemp said. “Notre Dame has moved neck-and-neck to the schools at the top. It’s super difficult. All you do is fall in love with places when you visit. Everything is great wherever you go and everyone treats you so nicely, why wouldn’t you want to commit? I want to evaluate everything when I’m not on campus. I think I need to remove myself from Notre Dame for a week or two and see if Notre Dame still feels the same way in my heart.”
Kemp took an official visit to Michigan last weekend, and he visits Colorado next weekend.