Matt Cashore /

Notre Dame hosted a pair of Ohio juniors on Saturday

Ohio juniors Colin Woodside and Bryce Ray enjoyed their unofficial visits to Notre Dame on Saturday. Both hope to hear more from the Irish in the future.

Notre Dame’s loss to Michigan State on Saturday had little effect on juniors Colin Woodside and Bryce Ray.

The Ohio prospects were among more than two dozen recruits hosted by the Irish last weekend.

Woodside, a 6-foot-5, 270-pound tackle from Fairfield Union High School in Lancaster, Ohio, already holds an offer from Ohio University and has drawn interest from Northwestern, Purdue, Cincinnati and a handful of Mid-American Conference schools.

He attended the game with his parents.

“It went really well,” he said. “I love the campus. They took us on a tour of the football building, then they took us to the team walk and they had a tent set up with food for all of us. Before we went to the stadium they had a guest speaker come talk to us.”

That guest speaker was Bob Elliott, the special assistant to Irish head coach Brian Kelly.

“He just talked about how the game is special for Notre Dame,” Woodside said.

Woodside also talked with Irish offensive line coach Harry Hiestand, who coached Woodside’s father at the University of Cincinnati.

“He knows my dad so they talked a little and he told me they are going to get me back out in the spring,” Woodside said.

Woodside plans to return to South Bend in the spring and he also has targeted Northwestern, Toledo and Cincinnati for visits.

Ray, a 5-foot-11, 210-pound linebacker from Bellevue, Ohio, loved what he saw in South Bend.

“It was a great experience,” he said. “I loved the campus and the environment on game day. The staff and coaches were very welcoming. I'm looking forward to another visit in the future.”

During the trip, Ray spoke with several of the Irish coaches.

“It was a busy game day but I had a chance to speak with coach (Paul) Longo and (Mike) Elston,” he said. “Coach Longo told me he likes the way I've grown and to keep working and playing hard. He talked to me a lot about my conditioning and building up my strength and a little about the game.”

The Irish project Ray as either a linebacker or safety.

He has drawn interest from Wisconsin, Kentucky and a host of others.

“Just about all of my Saturdays are booked with game invites,” he said. Top Stories