Although Evan Sharpley didn't make it to South Bend on Saturday, he and his parents did make it down for the junior day on Sunday to tour the campus and speak with the Irish coaching staff.
The day started with the family sitting down and having a bite to eat with offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Bill Diedrick.
Later, they were given a tour of campus, followed by an opportunity to walk the field at Notre Dame Stadium and a tour of the locker rooms.
When asked what Evan thought of the Notre Dame experience, he said "It was awesome! The meal was great, I've never seen so much food. We got a chance to speak with Coach Willingham and Coach Diedrick and I really liked what they had to say. They answered every question I had. The campus was amazing. The history, everything was great". Evan went on to say "it was the best (event) I've been to, by far."
This was his Mother's first trip to Notre Dame so We asked him what she thought of the visit. "She thought it was awesome. She thought the campus was beautiful, she just loved everything".
Although this was his mother's first visit to South Bend, Evan had been to campus several times. Last year he attended Notre Dame's football camp, a baseball hitting camp in January, a Junior Day in January and then on April 1st, he and his dad Tom made it to a spring football practice followed by a baseball game that same day.
As we've discovered in previous conversations with Sharpley, not only is he one of the top high school quarterback prospects, but he is also a highly-regarded national baseball prospect. For the second straight year he will participate in the USA Baseball Tournament of Stars held in Joplin, Missouri. The tournament invites the top 150 baseball players from across the country to compete for nine day in June.
With so much much talent, does he want to play both sports in college? "Definitely. I've spoken to the coaches at Notre Dame and they said it's fine. I really like that they encourage players to play other sports." Both Evan and his Dad had a chance to speak with Jeff Samardzija concerning the difficulties of being a dual sport athlete, so they understand the challenges ahead.
As far as summer plans, Evan said he will attend camp at Notre Dame, Purdue, and Michigan for sure. He also said he might attend others depending on how his schedule goes with summer baseball.
Sharpley already has an offer from both LSU and Iowa. The Irish have told Sharpley they want to see him peform in camp before offering. "The Notre Dame coaches explained the process they go through before they make an official offer," said Tom Sharpley, Evan's Dad. "They want to see him in camp before offering," said Tom.
Before ND fans get too excited, there is one caveat, Evan grew up a Michigan fan. "That was when I was younger," Evan said of being a Michigan fan. "Now I need to consider everything. I'm planning on taking my time. I want to make the best decision. I'll go through the entire process and look at everything."
When I asked what would be important in determining his college choice, Evan said "the best combination of academics and athletics, and I want to also play baseball."
Sharpley also has a self-reported 3.94 g.p.a. and just scored a 28 on the ACT.
Comments: There is a lot to like about Evan Sharpley. I really think Evan and his family had an outstanding visit. They liked what they heard from the coaches. I think Evan is the type of person that would excel at Notre Dame and would represent the school well. The football, baseball, academic combination seems to be what he is looking for. Still, Evan and his family are going to take their time. They are going to talk to as many people as they can, so that they can make an informed decision. If ND offers expect them to be a major player.