Notre Dame targeted four-star tight end Pat Freiermuth early in the recruiting process but the Irish backed off when the 6-foot-5, 250-pounder from North Andover, Mass., committed to Penn State back in August.
The addition of Chip Long to Notre Dame’s coaching staff led the Irish back to Freiermuth, who landed an offer from Notre Dame on Thursday.
“Coach Long messaged me on Twitter and told me to call him later because he had some good news for me,” Freiermuth said. “It didn't work out that I could call him that night so he just told me over Twitter that I had an offer from Notre Dame.”
Freiermuth was excited to receive the offer but his commitment to the Nittany Lions is solid.
“Obviously, to receive an offer from Notre Dame is something I'll remember forever because of how the football tradition is and how their football is known,” he said. “It's just a very good offer to get. I'm committed to Penn State and I'm very solid but I'm going to hear what they have to say. I probably won't get down for a visit unless something happens at Penn State. For me, being committed to someone, I'm really committed to that place. I'm not going to be one of those recruits who keep visiting places while committed to someone.”
Notre Dame understands it has a lot of ground to make up with Freiermuth and the Irish have begun that process by explaining how well he’d fit in their offense.
Freiermuth spoke with Long about the new direction the Notre Dame is headed and he also spoke to quarterbacks coach Tommy Rees, who quarterbacked the Irish from 2010-2013.
“I talked to coach Rees a little bit. It's pretty cool talking to a guy who had that experience at Notre Dame and he can really relate to the atmosphere and how cool it is to play in a Notre Dame football game,” Freiermuth said. “Coach Long, coming from Memphis and some of the stuff he's going to bring as an offensive coordinator, I talked to him on the phone a couple nights ago. He really preaches family and he really tries to use a lot of the tight end in his offense. That's something I'm pretty interested in but I’m still committed to Penn State.”
Freiermuth, who caught 26 passes for 527 yards and scored seven touchdowns as a junior, felt at home at Penn State and ended the recruiting process by committing to head coach James Franklin.
“It was the whole family atmosphere and how they treated me on campus,” he said. “The one thing that really stuck out to me is when coach Franklin told me if I'm committed to them then they're committed to me. That stood out to me, how much of a great guy he is and the rest of the coaching staff is. That's what kind of led to me committing to Penn State.”
Scout.com ranks Freiermuth as the 181st best prospect and eighth best tight end in the nation.