Andrew Chatfield didn’t head to The Opening Miami just to get in some reps.
Extra work is something the three-star defensive end from Plantation, Fla., can get any time. Chatfield attended the regional camp with one goal — dominate en route to landing an invitation to The Opening Finals later this summer.
Mission accomplished. Chatfield will travel to the Nike campus outside Portland in July to compete against the best prospects nationally. Yet he’s still in some disbelief.
“It’s surprising,” Chatfield said. “I’m coming from a city that’s always been hungry. The city I come from, we’re hungry. We take what we have to take. If we want a meal ticket we’ve gotta go take that meal ticket. With me, it means a lot. It’s a first step to getting a little taste of a little glory. It’s just a blessing.”
Chatfield’s recruitment has continued to expand since the Miami regional.
Arkansas, North Carolina and Notre Dame are a few of the new scholarship offers. Louisville, LSU, Oregon, TCU, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Syracuse are among those that have been on board for awhile.
Notre Dame has already worked its way onto the list of programs recruiting the 6-foot-3, 210-pound prospect hardest. He also mentioned LSU, Oregon, Wisconsin, Syracuse and Arkansas.
Irish running backs coach Autry Denson serves as primary recruiter.
“The relationship has been great,” Chatfield said. “We’re always talking about motivation and how I’m doing in school or whatever. That’s really it. The coaches want me to keep doing what I’m doing. That’s really it.”
Notre Dame has recruited Chatfield’s prep program at American Heritage School frequently over the years. Former Irish linebacker Michael Deeb played at American Heritage.
Current teammates of Chatfield are also on the target list. Five-star cornerback Patrick Surtain and four-star wide receiver Anthony Schwartz both hold Irish offers. Three-star receiver Miles Jones has also garnered some interest.
“I think about how you can go first round if you do what you do,” Chatfield said. “If you work hard and you ball out at Notre Dame you’re probably most likely going to go first round. The education, if you mess up in football or something or your knee is messed up, you still have a chance with the education and everything. Those are the main things that come to me with Notre Dame.”
Making a visit to South Bend is in the works.
Chatfield hopes to use his spring break in early April for a Midwest swing that includes stops at Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan State. Exploring each of the campuses will give Chatfield a better idea of where those programs fit into the larger mix.
“It’s just how I feel,” Chatfield said. “How the coaches are and how they treat me. If it feels right, it feels right. If I say, ‘I can see myself here,’ then that’ll be the college for me.”
Before heading north, Chatfield plans to visit LSU this weekend. Surtain and four-star cornerback Tyson Campbell, another American Heritage teammate, are planning to make the trip as well.
“I just wanna see what the coaches are offering really,” Chatfield said. “Just wanna see how the program is and let’s say if I get injured, could I stay here? Would I be OK over here? Does it feel like family? Will it always feel like family and will the coaches always have my back? Will everything be OK? That’s just my main thing. Then see where the education is at. How are they gonna help me with the education if I’m failing or something? That’s my main thing right now.”