A two-day visit to Notre Dame helped the Irish solidify their spot as a favorite for four-star defensive end Joshua Paschal.
“It went really great,” said Paschal, a 6-foot-2, 225-pounder from Good Counsel High School in Olney, Md. “They’re a top contender.”
Maryland, North Carolina and Oklahoma are the other schools in Paschal’s lead pack. All four could be in line for official visits down the road.
“I'll probably narrow it down before the season,” he said. “I don't have them set up yet but I know I’m going to take all five of my officials.”
Paschal traveled to South Bend on Tuesday with his father and two teammates. They arrived in South Bend around 5 p.m., just in time to watch the Irish during their off-season workout.
“They had their practice going on so I went to the practice and watched coach (Keith) Gilmore coach,” Paschal said. “He's a good coach. I can tell he knows what he's doing. After that I met with coach Gilmore and I met with the defensive coordinator and that was it for that day.”
He spent the evening with former Good Counsel teammate and current Irish lineman Sam Mustipher.
“We just got to hang out and catch up,” Paschal said. “He said he loves it (at Notre Dame) a lot because it plans out the rest of your life because of the connections you make at Notre Dame. The football is great but it takes care of itself. If you want to work hard you'll work hard and succeed.”
Hearing positive things about Notre Dame from someone he trusts aided the Irish cause.
“It helps a lot to know that I know somebody that went to Notre Dame and he can tell me how it went for him,” Paschal said.
On Wednesday, Paschal toured campus and spoke briefly with Irish head coach Brian Kelly.
“The campus is beautiful. It reminded me of Good Counsel's campus and reminded me of Good Counsel's atmosphere,” he said. “Coach Kelly seemed like a very humble person and a great coach who is focused on academics as well as football.”
Paschal also learned how Notre Dame would use him if he signs with the Irish in February.
“They would use me as a defensive end but they said they could use me all around basically,” he said. “As a defensive end, sometimes I could stand up and blitz off the edge. I feel like I could fit into that role.”