Polling the Notre Dame signees

Irish Illustrated polled 13 of Notre Dame’s signees to get their takes on the recruiting process and how life might look next summer after enrollment in South Bend.

1. Favorite part of your Notre Dame visit?

Ian Book: Meeting all of my new teammates
Parker Boudreaux: Spending time with the players and recruits and walking around the greatest campus of all time
Chase Claypool: The people
Liam Eichenberg: Echoes
Jalen Elliott: The game
Tommy Kraemer: Experiencing the game day atmosphere
Jamir Jones: Eating
Tony Jones Jr.: Hanging with the players
Julian Love: Hanging out with the team and my friends
D.J. Morgan: Meeting Manti Te’o and Pat Connaughton and watching the Notre Dame pickup basketball game down in floor seats with Mr. Jack Swarbrick
Julian Okwara: Campus and facilities
Troy Pride Jr.: The game vs. Southern Cal!
John Shannon: Taking pictures on the field a night

2. Coolest piece of mail received, Notre Dame or otherwise?

Book: Notre Dame – Golden leprechaun
Boudreaux: Syracuse – “P-Money for Heisman”
Claypool: Michigan – Me on a billboard wearing their uniform
Eichenberg: Notre Dame – Golden leprechaun
Elliott: Notre Dame – Official scholarship letter
Kraemer: Notre Dame – Scholarship letter
Jones: Syracuse – “Jay Z used to run NY but then Jamir committed to Cuse”
Jones Jr.: Kentucky – A puzzle of me in their uniform
Love: Notre Dame – Official scholarship paper
Morgan: Cal-Berkeley – Me on the cover of Sports Illustrated
Okwara: Notre Dame – Official scholarship letter
Pride Jr.: North Carolina – A picture of a little boy watching me play, and he had on my jersey!
Shannon: Alabama – Their letters

3. Funniest coach you dealt with at Notre Dame?

Book: Mike Sanford
Boudreaux: Harry Hiestand
Claypool: Mike Denbrock and Brian Kelly
Eichenberg: Mike Sanford
Elliott: Bob Elliott
Kraemer: Bob Elliott
Jones: Bob Elliott
Jones Jr.: Mike Denbrock
Love: Mike Denbrock, for sure
Morgan: Mike Denbrock
Okwara: Keith Gilmore
Pride Jr.: Autry Denson
Shannon: Keith Gilmore

4. First offer?

Book: Idaho
Boudreaux: Marshall
Claypool: Nevada
Eichenberg: Ohio State
Elliott: Old Dominion
Kraemer: Illinois
Jones: Old Dominion
Jones Jr.: Cincinnati
Love: Illinois
Morgan: Vanderbilt
Okwara: Boston College
Pride Jr.: Virginia Tech
Shannon: West Virginia

5. Like the recruiting process?

Book: Yes, it was fun.
Boudreaux: Yeah, but it got a little too crazy.
Claypool: Yes.
Eichenberg: I hated it – awful.
Elliott: It was fun, but I’m glad it’s over.
Kraemer: I loved it.
Jones: No, not at all.
Jones Jr.: Yes.
Love: No, it was too stressful.
Morgan: It had its pros and cons.
Okwara: It’s a little stressful and a big decision.
Pride Jr.: I really liked it.
Shannon: Not really, very time consuming.

6. Did “4 for 40” impact your decision?

Book: Yes, education is a huge part of it.
Boudreaux: Of course, it’s about life after football. Football doesn’t last forever.
Claypool: Yes.
Eichenberg: Academics made my decision. Attending Notre Dame will help me even when football is over.
Elliott: Yes, because someday football will end.
Kraemer: Absolutely, Notre Dame will take care of you long after football is over.
Jones: Yes, definitely.
Jones Jr.: Yes, some parts of it
Love: Tremendously, I know that I will get a Notre Dame degree regardless of what the future holds for me. And with the degree I will it pay it forward to Notre Dame by hiring future football graduates into my company.
Morgan: Yes, definitely!
Okwara: Yes, I’ll be set for the rest of my life, and I’ll meet people who want to make a change in the world in the future.
Pride Jr.: Yes!
Shannon: Yes, football only lasts to long. A degree is something you have your entire life.

7. Best meal you had on a recruiting visit, Notre Dame or otherwise?

Book: Notre Dame – Soft pretzel with this unreal sauce
Boudreaux: Notre Dame – Ruth’s Chris
Claypool: Notre Dame – Steak, potatoes, pasta (training table)
Eichenberg: Notre Dame – Steak and shrimp (training table)
Elliott: Notre Dame – Pretty much all of the food
Kraemer: Vanderbilt - Barbeque
Jones: Notre Dame – Breakfast at the Morris Inn
Jones Jr.: Notre Dame – Soho when they cook in front of you
Love: Notre Dame – I loved the “pig wings” (training table)
Morgan: Notre Dame – Chicken strips, hot dog with barbeque sauce (training table)
Okwara: Notre Dame – A really nice cookout on my official visit
Pride Jr.: N.C. State – Filet mignon and key lime pie
Shannon: Notre Dame – Meal at halftime in the lounge

8. Most looking forward to about being a Notre Dame student-athlete?

Book: New team camaraderie.
Boudreaux: Everything.
Claypool: The opportunities.
Eichenberg: The connections I’ll create.
Elliott: The connections I’ll be able to make.
Kraemer: Being able to compete with the top on the field and in the classroom.
Jones: Being a part of the tradition.
Jones Jr.: The game atmosphere.
Love: Being challenged academically.
Morgan: Being around great people who want to succeed not just athletically but also academically.
Okwara: Being in college with people who want to see you be great academically and in sports, and being away from people who bring you down
Pride Jr.: Workouts with the team and individualism with classes.
Shannon: Being part of the best university in America.

9. Game on the schedule in 2016 you’re most looking forward to?

Book: Week One at Texas
Boudreaux: National Championship
Claypool: USC
Eichenberg: Michigan State
Elliott: Shamrock Series game
Kraemer: Texas
Jones: National Championship
Jones Jr.: Miami
Love: Michigan State
Morgan: USC
Okwara: Stanford
Pride Jr.: Virginia Tech
Shannon: Michigan State

10. Breakout Irish freshman in your class?

Book: Kevin Stepherson
Boudreaux: Everyone
Claypool: Everyone
Eichenberg: Jalen Elliott
Elliott: I would like to think myself in 2016.
Kraemer: Tony Jones
Jones: Chase Claypool
Jones Jr.: Everybody
Love: Me, I committed early, so I was sort of forgotten about. I’ve been working hard and look forward to showing what I have to offer.
Morgan: Parker Boudreaux or Tony Jones
Okwara: All of us. We’re all going to make an impact whether it’s in practice, on special teams, or anywhere.
Pride Jr.: Troy Pride Jr.
Shannon: Chase Claypool


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