What struck four-star offensive tackle Andrew Thomas most about Notre Dame didn’t have much to do with football. The 6-foot-5, 318-pound tackle got his first look at the Irish over the weekend during Junior Day after making the trip north from Atlanta, Ga.
“It went pretty well, I enjoyed it a lot,” Thomas said. “I got to see how rigorous the academics are and how serious they are about it at Notre Dame.
For the first-time visitor from Pace Academy, “eating in the locker room” was the favorite aspect of the visit.
“Campus is beautiful,” Thomas said. “It’s small like Pace. The facilities are nice and so are the people. The food was really good.”
Thomas spent time talking with Irish offensive line coach Harry Hiestand.
“Coach Hiestand talked to me about he’s been doing this for 27 years and how he can really help me get to where I want to go,” Thomas said. “He’s coached a lot of really good players. I can tell he cares about his players more than just how they do on the field.”
The in-state Bulldogs are considered the favorite to land Thomas, who’s still sifting through his offer list and has yet to narrow his options.
“Notre Dame is definitely one of my top schools,” Thomas said. “I don’t really have a top list yet but Georgia, Clemson, Ole Miss, Alabama, Tennessee and Notre Dame are all up there for me.”
In addition to Notre Dame, Thomas has visited Alabama, Auburn, Clemson and Georgia this spring.
Thomas does have at least some familiarity with Notre Dame, which will add former Pace Academy standout Mick Assaf as a preferred walk-on next season. The Irish are also recruiting Pace Academy wide out Trey Blount, who also attended Junior Day at Notre Dame.