Stephen Herron is still getting used to the idea of being a major football recruit.
Certain things come with this new territory: Major offers, coaches in regular communication, fans recognizing you along the way. Herron started to experience all this during the spring, especially after Louisville became his first scholarship offer.
Indiana and Tennessee have since offered the rising sophomore defensive end from Louisville, Ky., as well. Alabama, Notre Dame, Kentucky and Purdue are among those to show interest.
“It’s just surprising,” Herron said. “I’m still getting over the fact that I have an offer, let alone three offers. They’re all from Power 5 schools, one is in the SEC. It’s surprising. I always wanted an offer but I never really expected one. I just had to grind for it. I wouldn’t say it’s moving any faster or slower than I expected. I knew when it would happen it would happen.”
Herron has spent the beginning of summer continuing to expand his recruitment.
Earlier this month the 6-foot-4, 220-pound prospect made the trek to Notre Dame for Irish Invasion. He toured campus and worked with defensive line coach Keith Gilmore, who relayed some of the practice techniques the Irish use regularly.
Some of them struck Herron as familiar and close to what they use at Trinity High School during offseason workouts.
“Seeing all the drills they do, it was similar to what I have to do every day,” Herron said. “It just lets me know, I feel like Notre Dame with their academics and how they ran their practice, I feel like I could excel there one day.”
Herron also took note of how the campus lined up with his own expectations during the tours.
“It was great,” he said. “They took me on like a small visit around the campus. They really had an it-hasn’t-changed-since-Rudy type of feel. Not much is outside Notre Dame or South Bend but it felt like a great campus, small campus. It’s a campus that felt like home.”
Before the visit ended, Herron talked a little bit with the coaching staff.
Right now the plan is to come back during the season for a game. Herron will also put together highlights from the beginning of his sophomore season and pass it along to the staff for more evaluation.
“We didn’t really get to do one-on-ones that day,” Herron said. “But I feel like the coaches want to get me back for a visit and watch some film and everything. We’ll see how everything goes from there. Really, I feel like this season, I’ll send them some film. It might even be a mid-season film type of tape. I’ll come up for a visit, hopefully have more offers by then.”
Herron could add at least one more offer this summer with a July visit to Kentucky scheduled. Otherwise he’s continuing to settle in as part of the Trinity program while playing a little more outside linebacker than defensive end.
“I would say I’m just taking it all in right now,” Herron said. “I’m not the kid that already has 20 offers so I can start picking out my favorites. That’s just not how it is yet. Right now I’m taking it all in. Every school is in the running.”