Junior offensive lineman Josh Lugg committed to Notre Dame in August and is already looking forward to beginning his career with the Irish.
On Saturday, the 6-foot-6, 285-pound four-star prospect from Wexford, Pa., attended Junior Day and got an in-depth look at what life will be like as a Notre Dame student athlete.
“Almost the entire day dealt with the academic side, which was really neat because I wanted to focus in on that because I have seen everything else with Notre Dame,” Lugg said. “We did a quick tour and everything. We went on top of Touchdown Jesus and looked over the campus. That was some brief stuff we did.”
Lugg spent a lot of the day getting to know future teammates Cole Kmet and Dillan Gibbons and their families.
“It was great,” he said. “I had a great time meeting Dillan and Cole. It was good to be with all the coaches and all the families and just spending some quality time talking about Notre Dame football, academics and everything.”
Notre Dame hosted about a dozen prospects, including the three of its five junior commitments.
“There were supposed to be a lot of other recruits coming too but the snow storm kind of held back a lot of people,” Lugg said. “They kept it to a smaller amount. This was a more private junior day. It was nice because there was a lot of time with the coaches. In other junior days where there are 50-plus kids you don’t necessarily get to spend a lot of time with the coaches so that was a big bonus.”
That intimate affair let Lugg spend more time with offensive line coach Harry Hiestand.
“I talked to him almost the entire day,” he said. “I sat in on a player’s meeting. He talked about how we need to all be the best O-line. We can’t be the best ourselves; we have to do it together. If we all do it together everything will fall into place. We have to be a brotherhood. That was a big thing he touched on.”
Lugg, Kmet and Gibbons also had the chance to speak privately with head coach Brian Kelly.
“There was a time where they went through the distinctions of Notre Dame,” Lugg said. “Me, Dillan and Cole have all gone through that speech several times so they took us out of that meeting and we sat down in a conference room with coach Kelly. He was telling us about our role now that we need to fill and how we need to be held to a higher standard. We can’t take anything for granted now that we’re committed to Notre Dame. We have to keep our academics even more important to us as if we still have to earn that Notre Dame offer because if we get complacent it’s not going to be good.”
Lugg also used the opportunity to meet several of Notre Dame’s other visiting prospects. He spent time getting to know defensive end Corey Malone-Hatcher and feels confident the four-star from Michigan enjoyed his time on campus.
“I talked to him a little bit,” Lugg said. “He was off with the coaches a lot of the time. He was very excited. He loves Notre Dame.”
Irish assistant coach Mike Sanford dropped in at North Allegheny High School last week to check in on Lugg, who has spent the early part of the offseason in the weight room.
He is preparing for the spring camp circuit in hopes of landing an invitation to one of the national all-star games.