LAKE FOREST, Ill. - George Karlaftis wanted to make the most of another Notre Dame visit.
Last time around the sophomore defensive end from West Lafayette, Ind., made the trip to South Bend for a game, leaving little time to look around campus. Returning last weekend offered Karlaftis the opportunity to spend a day touring around and getting to know the coaches.
“It was fun,” Karlaftis said. “First off we just did a tour around campus and stuff. Then I met up with all the coaches, went to coach Kelly’s office and the defensive coordinator’s office. Then we just toured around because I had only been to a game and didn’t really get to see the campus.”
Karlaftis bumped the visit up a day for a fuller experience.
Instead of attending Sophomore Day on Sunday, Karlaftis visited Saturday for an in-depth trip then participated in The Opening regional outside Chicago the next day. As a result, Karlaftis and his family talked at length with head coach Brian Kelly and multiple assistants.
Kelly offered Karlaftis a scholarship. Notre Dame joins Indiana, Purdue, SMU and SMU in having done so.
“It was nice,” Karlaftis said. “When I first saw him my heart kinda dropped. It was really nice. They’re just really interested in me and he said they like my athleticism and they want me on board for the 2019 class.”
Other coaches chipped in as well.
Karlaftis talked with defensive line coach Mike Elston and defensive coordinator Mike Elko, among others. Elston doubles as potential position coach and primary recruiter. Karlaftis picked up a positive vibe from everyone.
“They’re all super nice,” he said. “Great guys. (Elston) took me into this meeting and he was like, ‘You’re great, we like you.’”
Next up for Karlaftis is a planned return trip to Notre Dame for the Blue-Gold Game later this month. By the time that happens the 6-foot-5, 240-pound prospect expects having added an Irish offer to impact his recruitment overall.
“I think it’ll change a lot,” Karlaftis said. “That’s my biggest one yet. It’s just gonna take off more and more.”