Blaise Andries expected National Signing Day to be busy.
Just for other prospects.
As seniors around the country signed their letters-of-intent, Andries started fielding messages from college programs. Dozens reached out to the junior offensive tackle from Marshall, Minn., with either new or continued interest.
Missouri and Colorado State made offers. Andries also heard from Notre Dame, Florida, Duke, Vanderbilt, Memphis and Penn State.
“I thought it was going to pick up but I didn’t know it was going to pick up that much,” Andries said. “Everyone says it’s going to pick up a lot and stuff like that. But I didn’t know it would end up being like this. Otherwise, it’s just taking being responsible to get back to coaches and taking more time out of the day to get back to them.”
Colorado State and Missouri joined an offer list that already included Illinois, Iowa State, Kansas, Minnesota and Northwestern.
Coaches have complimented what Andries put on film during his junior season.
“I think it was just working hard every play,” he said. “Not taking any plays off because you can’t really do that. If people expect you to be good then you can’t be taking plays off because it doesn’t work that way. I think I did a pretty good job at run blocking and thanks to my running back a lot. He probably made our line look a lot better than it was at some points.
“I think I just had a good year. It comes from a lot of hard work in the offseason.”
Notre Dame reached out through defensive line coach Keith Gilmore, a potential area recruiter. The Irish first established contact with Andries during the season with invitations to some of their games.
Andries wasn’t able to attend any, but he’s been in South Bend before.
“I know some stuff about Notre Dame,” he said. “As a kid, I don’t know the exact year — this is probably one of the first times I’ve been out of the state of Minnesota — my dad took me and my brother to a Notre Dame against, I think, Penn State. They won with a couple seconds left. I think there was like 30 seconds left when they scored a touchdown to win. I’m not sure what year that was. But it’s a good memory really, a good family memory.”
Depending on how the interest shakes out, Andries could add Notre Dame to the list of offseason visits. He and his parents are considering their options in hopes of putting together a schedule for after the basketball season.
Right now, Andries isn’t sure where he’d like to visit. Coming up with the programs that suit him best is the first step toward making a travel schedule. He did see Minnesota for a Junior Day recently.
“What I look for in a school basically is if I can be successful educationally there,” Andries said. “Can I get a good education? Stuff like that. I think most all schools have a good education program. And then if I can have a good relationship with the coaching staff there. Those are gonna be the people you’re working with on a daily basis, so you’ve gotta make sure you have a great relationship with them.
“Last but not least, can I be successful in their football program. Those are the three basic things that I look at. From there I’ll decide when I wanna visit and check out the campuses and stuff like that.”