Four-star offensive tackle Josh Lugg committed to Notre Dame in August for a variety for reasons, none of which included the game day atmosphere in South Bend.
Now the Irish can add that factor to the list after Saturday night’s 41-31 win over USC.
“It was great,” said Lugg, a 6-foot-6, 280-pounder from North Allegheny High School in Wexford, Pa. “I had a phenomenal experience. The game, my first game ever for Notre Dame, it exceeded my expectations and I had pretty high expectations going in.”
Lugg visited Notre Dame last summer before his commitment. At that time, the campus was relatively quiet and peaceful.
It was a different story on Saturday as the Irish hosted the Trojans.
“Game day was incredible,” Lugg said. “The fans were nuts and they had a lot of spirit for the game and the Notre Dame football team.”
Lugg and his family arrived in South Bend around 3 p.m. and enjoyed a late lunch with the other visiting prospects.
He used that time to share his reasons for picking the Irish with some of Notre Dame’s other top recruiting prospects.
“I talked with Damar Hamlin and David Adams at the time and Matt Bockhorst,” Lugg said. “I know Damar really liked Notre Dame. I think Notre Dame will be there until the end and I think we can pull through and lock him in. David Adams, I know he really likes Notre Dame and so does his family. We’ll see where that goes with him.”
Lugg also connected with a third Western Pennsylvania prospect in 2018 quarterback Phil Jurkovec, who holds offers from Penn State, Pittsburgh, Temple and Wisconsin.
“I sat with him during the game,” Lugg said. “Our families talked. He’s going to be probably the No. 1 quarterback in his class by his senior year. Hopefully ND offers him soon. I’m going to lock him in to Notre Dame. We need to get him.”
All of the visiting prospects enjoyed pregame on the turf at Notre Dame Stadium.
“It was crazy,” Lugg said. “They had a DJ on the field for the pregame. He was getting everyone going already. It was awesome. It was an hour before the game and people were jumping around and screaming. It was a great experience overall. The atmosphere was incredible.”
Lugg talked briefly with Irish offensive line coach Harry Hiestand during the trip then caught up with his future coach via telephone on Sunday.
“He thanked me for coming out,” Lugg said. “He was very happy to get me out there. That was his first time meeting my mom because she couldn’t make it out last time.”