That changed the moment he became the Panthers’ top right tackle as a sophomore.
“Once I won it, I knew playing in the (Greater Catholic League) I’d compete against the best every week,” said Kraemer, a 6-foot-5, 315-pounder from Cincinnati. “I think it became realistic then that I had a shot of playing Division I football. I just from then on never looked back. I just kept on going forward.”
Kraemer developed into one of the best tackles in the country and landed offers from a host of programs, including Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Tennessee.
He committed to Notre Dame on Oct. 4, 2014 and will sign with the Irish on Wednesday
“It feels great,” Kraemer said. “On Wednesday it will be 16 months that I’ve been committed. It’s exciting that I can wrap it up.”
Kraemer was the first prospect to join Notre Dame’s class and did his part to land several more elite prospects.
Last week he hosted Irish offensive line coach Harry Hiestand on an in-home visit and the two talked about Kraemer’s next step.
“We’re just really looking forward to the future and getting up there and working hard and competing,” Kraemer said. “I can’t wait to sign on Wednesday.”
Kraemer is one of three elite linemen the Irish will sign. Liam Eichenberg and Parker Boudreaux round out the haul up front.
“(Coach Hiestand) talked about Liam, Parker and I, and how great we’ll be together,” Kraemer said. “He said we’re all really similar and that we’re all competitors and he thinks we’ll all get along great when we get there. We all just can’t wait to get up there and make it real.”
Kraemer will sign and send his National Letter of Intent early Wednesday, then participate in a ceremonial signing at his school later that day.
He’s looking forward to ending the recruiting process and becoming a part of the Irish football family.
“It’s great,” he said. “I put in a lot of hard work and my parents have done a bunch for me. It’s nice that it’s coming together on Wednesday when it all becomes official.”