Alabama athlete Cagan Campbell told Irish Illustrated last week that he would travel to South Bend with his father for the Blue-Gold Game and to meet Notre Dame’s defensive staff face-to-face.
The two visitors were fired up about what they saw.
Campbell, who broke the Alabama state high school 400-meter indoor record in January, has been hearing from cornerbacks coach Todd Lyght and Notre Dame’s track staff.
The cornerback recruit regards Notre Dame as one of the top universities in the country. Campbell has openly expressed serious interest in attending the Midwest program and has strong support from his father, who would love to see his son at Notre Dame. The two-star prospect doesn’t have any Power 5 offers to date, with scholarship invites on the table from Army, South Alabama and Jacksonville State.
Campbell and his father departed South Bend on Saturday impressed with the coaching staff, game atmosphere and all that the University offers.
“From the time we got there, until the time we left, it was just a great experience," Campbell said. "We probably had the best tour guide of all the prospects there, in my opinion. The facilities were amazing. Just like what you'd think a Power 5 school would look like.”
The ’18 athlete from Tuscaloosa was able to sit down with the defensive coaching staff too. That meeting proved to be both recruiting pitch and coaching clinic.
“We got to sit down with coach (Todd) Lyght and (Mike Elko),” Campbell said. “Those were both great conversations. The D Coordinator gave me tips on what I can do to fix my game, little pointers. He said he wants me to work on my back pedal and he wants to see it so he can further evaluate me.
“(Todd Lyght) was a great guy. He gave us his background and he had a ton of experience with a Super Bowl ring and a National Championship ring, so that is very good. I know if I was to go to Notre Dame, I’d be getting coached by one of the best. I don’t think anyone can compete with the kind of experience that coach (Todd) Lyght has.”
Campbell and his father thoroughly enjoyed the stadium experience too.
“The game was awesome and the atmosphere was great,” Campbell said. “The stadium was only half-full and I can only imagine what it's like when it's full. That place was rockin' in there. The game was good, the players were getting after it, they made big plays, the coaches were all fired-up, so it was a really good day.”
Campbell has obvious natural talent but needs to shape his game, starting with his basic football fundamentals. His elite speed is a trait that warrants a look from the Irish coaching staff, who will keep an eye on his progress and stay in touch with the Alabama athlete during the spring evaluation period.