Mustapha Muhammad (© Greg Powers)

Elite tight end keeps Irish in play

A year ago Notre Dame offered the top tight end in Texas, Mustapha Muhammad. The star from Ridge Point High School has watched his offer list swell to 36 since. Irish Illustrated caught up with the four-star talent to get the latest on his recruitment.

Missouri City (Texas) tight end Mustapha Muhammad is one of the most well-known prospects in the country, at least when it comes to the nation’s top programs making offers.

Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA and USC.

“My recruitment is going pretty good,” Muhammad said. “I’m up to 36 offers now. I’m just kind of taking it all in. It’s kind of a humbling experience.”

The Irish got on Muhammad early. Of course, with the nationwide attention he has received, there hasn’t been much talk of the Irish gaining any kind of momentum. That may be beginning to change.

“I definitely stay in touch with Notre Dame,” Muhammad said. “I keep in touch with coach (Chip) Long very often. If not every day, every other day. I’ve discussed with him about maybe getting up to the Irish Invasion camp, early in the summer and seeing what the Irish have to offer. That would be my initial visit and I’ll probably take a visit after. It’s not official yet. I’ll still have to talk to my parents and see what I have going on.”

The fact the No. 2 tight end in the country wants to visit South Bend is great news for the Irish, but at this point, nothing is set in stone.

“It’s like a 50-percent chance,” Muhammad said. “I talked to my mom about it. I have to see what’s going on first.”

Muhammad likes the Notre Dame staff and what a degree from Notre Dame can do for him.

“I like coach Long,” Muhammad said. “He seems like a really down-to-earth guy, positive person. He’s always been giving me things that I want to hear, recruiting-wise. He’s also their play-caller and tight ends coach. It’s a very, very good school, as far as how academics goes. A degree from Notre Dame is second-to-none. It’s a hell of an opportunity.

“That’s the first thing I’m looking for in a school. How they can prepare me for life after college, all of the opportunities that they can provide. I’ll be studying business, so I have to do some research on the business school as well.”

When talking with Muhammad about his recruitment, considering the abundance of strong programs putting on the pressure, it’s more relevant to ask which schools aren’t recruiting him hard. There don’t appear to be many that fit into that category.

“Honestly, I’ve had a lot of schools come after me pretty hard,” Muhammad said. “I get this question a lot and I always tell people that it’s a really long list of schools that are coming after me hard.”

Although Muhammad has been to the Midwest several times, he has yet to see Notre Dame, the school he wants to visit next.

“I’ve been to Ohio State and I’ve been to Michigan a couple of times,” Muhammad said. “I don’t have any visits scheduled. The Notre Dame visit is the one I’m working on right now. Me and my mom have been discussing and we’re going to have a lot more time in the summer to drive around to some schools and take a little road trip.”

Notre Dame isn’t the only program in the mix for a summer visit.

“Probably Florida State, (Florida), Clemson, that whole area,” Muhammad said. “I like the California school system, the Pac-12 is pretty different, the style of ball over there. I’m really interested in UCLA, USC, Oregon, Colorado.”

Muhammad isn’t rushing his decision. Notre Dame will be in the mix for his signature on February 1, 2018.

“National Signing Day is when I plan on announcing my decision,” Muhammad said. “I’ll be releasing my first list later on this month. From then on, I’ll be making some decisions.” Top Stories