Four-star junior tight end Zack Kuntz emerged this spring as one of Notre Dame’s top prospects in the recruiting class of 2018.
The 6-foot-7, 215-pounder from Camp Hill, Pa., first visited South Bend for the Blue-Gold Game last spring. He returned on Saturday to experience game day.
“I had a great trip,” Kuntz said. “It was a great experience overall.”
Kuntz made the trip with Charlie Katshir, a junior safety. They left home after Katshir’s game on Friday and spent the night at a hotel in Ohio.
They arrived on campus early Saturday morning and spent the day enjoying the recruiting activities set up by the Irish coaching staff.
“First we went to the recruiting area and checked in before the game and they gave us a little tour of their facilities and took us around on a golf cart and showed us some of the campus as well,” Kuntz said. “Then we went to talk to some of the coaches and went to the game and had a good time.”
Kuntz spoke with Irish assistant coaches Scott Booker and Harry Hiestand and head coach Brian Kelly.
“They were glad we could come out and make the trip,” Kuntz said. “They are always happy to see us. It’s not just around the corner going out there but they were glad to have us out and reiterated to me how much they want me and what an asset I am to them.”
Booker has remained in close contact with Kuntz and the two are developing a strong relationship.
“I think coach Booker is great,” Kuntz said. “I think he’s an ideal position coach for me. He’s young and active, which is what you also look for as a coach so you have a great relationship with them because you’re going to spend a lot of time with them.”
Kelly made sure Kuntz knew how well he’d fit in at Notre Dame.
“He just told me how much of a priority I am to them and how they’d love to have me go to school there in the future,” Kuntz said.
Notre Dame’s 38-35 loss to Duke didn’t spoil the trip.
“It was a good game to watch actually,” Kuntz said. “It was pretty back and forth. They didn’t come out on top, Duke just out played them I think, and they have some things to fix to pick up some of the pieces but I know they’ll take care of that and once they do they’ll be a lot better.”
Kuntz was especially pleased to see Notre Dame’s tight ends involved in the passing game.
“They always have two tight ends in, which is great for me to see,” he said. “Also, they said to me with how I am I wouldn’t just be some big body in there to block, they use their tight ends to get the ball and as possession receivers. They’re not just being out there as a blocker. That’s something I like to hear.”
Overall, Kuntz enjoyed experiencing his first Notre Dame game day and plans to return to South Bend later this fall.
“I had a really good time,” he said. “It was a totally difference experience from the last time I was there for the spring game. I’m going back for Stanford and I think each time I go it’s going to get better and better.”
Kuntz also plans to return to Penn State and hopes to see Ohio State later this fall.
He’ll see his first action of his junior year this Friday after missing the first half of the season with a foot injury.
“I have a Jones Fracture in my foot,” he said. “It happened in July. It’s the fifth metatarsal on my right foot, the pinky toe bone. It just takes time to heal. It’s one of those annoying injuries. You feel fine but to make sure bone heals you have to stay off of it.”