Chad Simmons

Top sophomore impressed on Irish visit

Linebacker Dax Hollifield of Shelby (N.C.) recaps his first experience at Notre Dame. He already holds five ACC offers and would welcome the Irish on that list.

Notre Dame hosted one of the top sophomore linebackers in the southeast last weekend. Shelby athlete Dax Hollifield made the trek to northern Indiana from North Carolina to see Notre Dame for the first time.

“Coach (Mike) Elston heard about me through some other high school coaches that told him that I’m a Notre Dame type of kid,” Hollifield said. “About a month ago he said that he wanted me to come for the Navy game.

“I went with my dad and we drove there very late after my game on Friday. We didn’t get to Notre Dame until about 10 a.m. on Saturday. Then the tour guide showed us around campus. We saw Touchdown Jesus, her dorm and where her classes are. I loved all of it. The game was awesome. It was probably the best game atmosphere I’ve ever seen next to Clemson.”

Hollifield has offers from Clemson, Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Wake Forest. The Tigers occupy the top spot for Hollifield followed by the Tar Heels.

“Coach Elston told me that he’s going to come down and see me in the spring,” Hollifield said. “He’s recruiting another guy in the Asheville area that I think is (2016 running back) Rico Dowdle, so he’s been to this area before. I think an offer will probably happen at some point. It sounded like it.”

Other schools that have expressed interest in Hollifield include Georgia, Georgia Tech, Penn State, Tennessee and Virginia Tech.

“Education is first for me, and then my relationship with the coaching staff and early playing time,” Hollifield said. “I can play anywhere on the field. Coaches say they love how I’m not afraid to hit and how I’m smart and run downhill.”

Hollifield visits North Carolina this weekend. Top Stories