Notre Dame hosted the No. 7 cornerback in the country on an official visit last weekend when Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) four-star Thomas Graham made a return visit to campus.
“The visit was good,” Graham said. “It was everything that I expected and better.”
The 5-foot-11, 180-pound defensive back said the opportunity for early playing time is among the most appealing aspects of Notre Dame’s recruiting pitch.
“I had a meeting on Sunday with the coaches, (Todd) Lyght, (Brian) VanGorder, (Mike) Sanford, and coach (Brian) Kelly,” Graham said. “They kept telling me how young they are right now on defense and in the secondary and how they need players that came come in right away and make a difference. That’s the biggest positive to Notre Dame.”
The environment inside Notre Dame Stadium impressed Graham despite the outcome.
“They were losing 36-7 in the fourth quarter, but the fans stayed in it and I think that gave the team a burst of energy to come back.”
Freshman safety Jalen Elliott was Graham’s player-host for the weekend. Now that Graham has visited Notre Dame twice, can he see himself making the transition from California to South Bend?
“Yes, I can see myself fitting in,” Graham said. “It’s just different in a positive way. I wouldn’t have to worry about stuff at Notre Dame I worry about here. There are parties, but it’s not like a party school. People won’t make fun of me for staying in. It’s kind of an environment that feels like family.”
Nebraska has also received an official visit from Graham.
Arizona, Oregon, and Arizona State are also likely to receive officials before a decision is expected in November or December. The former USC commitment is high on UCLA, which figures to get a couple of unofficial visits this season.
“I don’t have an order or anything inside my top 10, but I would say ND is high on the board after this weekend,” Graham said. “I really like it.”