Greg Rogers arrived at Notre Dame just in time for the main event.
Campus tours had to wait as the four-star defensive tackle from Las Vegas instead watched an early morning practice to kick start his unofficial visit. Rogers honed in on defensive line coach Keith Gilmore and defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder. They didn’t disappoint.
“They’re definitely professional about it,” Rogers said. “Coach Gilmore was coaching the guys hard all throughout the practice. He really focused on their technique a lot. Coach VanGorder was out there getting on guys for not being explosive and making sure they are being explosive.
“They’re paying attention to every single detail trying to make sure their players get better. That’s how it’s supposed to be. They’re really focused and locked in.”
Rogers, who’s staying with family in Indianapolis during spring break, watched the entire spring practice before moving on to other details in his first trip to South Bend.
He did eventually tour campus in full and also met with the coaching staff — Gilmore, VanGorder and defensive backs coach Todd Lyght, his area recruiter. Lyght works Las Vegas and has stopped to see Rogers at school in the past.
Gilmore helped get the 6-foot-4, 298-pound prospect up to speed on the Irish program.
“It was my first time actually meeting him,” Rogers said. “Knowing the fact Notre Dame just started recruiting me in November and December, they haven’t been recruiting me for a long time now. We’ve just been building a relationship. Meeting him for the first time, he was really into me and stuff like that. He was making sure I know they’re interested in me as a player and that I know they’re focused on me. Just him getting that stuff clear, showing me that stuff, was really, really good.”
Talking with the coaches also helped shed light on where things stand with a potential scholarship offer. Gilmore and staff want to do a little more research as Rogers recently transferred high schools.
Rogers, however, is comfortable with where things are going and believes the Irish will be a real option soon.
“I think that was really a matter of getting everything cleared up,” Rogers said. “They came down to visit me Jan. 21, I think it was. I’m not 100 percent sure what the day was. But I wasn’t there. Any coach would be mad at the fact you weren’t there when they made the trip all the way down. They were a little iffy about that and stuff wasn’t cleared up. It was good for me to come down here and introduce myself and make sure everything is fine.”
Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, BYU, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UCLA, UNLV, USC, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Washington State are among the programs to have already offered.
Indiana will host Rogers on Thursday for an unofficial visit.
As Rogers works toward cutting his list, these spring visits take on more importance. Notre Dame put itself in a better position after Wednesday.
“I’m looking to continue to build a relationship with these coaches,” Rogers said. “I can definitely see something happening big. But I have to play my cards right and make sure I’m looking into the schools properly.”