Irish Recruits Looking Forward to Notre Dame Visit

Highland Park, Ill. linebacker Scott Smith and Waconia, Minn. tight end Joey Hiben were both scheduled to take their official visits to Notre Dame back on December 3, 2004 before the Irish made a coaching change. Both players stayed firm in their commitments to the Irish during the uncertainty of the coaching change, and now look forward to taking their official visit to Notre Dame this weekend. What have Smith and Hiben been up to?

Irish Eyes caught up with linebacker Scott Smith on Sunday night just minutes after he spoke with his new linebacker coach Rick Minter.

"I just got off the phone with coach Minter," said an excited Scott Smith. "It went really well. I enjoyed talking to him. He seemed like a really good guy."

We confirmed with Smith that Minter will also coach linebackers for the Irish besides his defensive coordinator duties.

"He said he'd be coaching the linebackers," Smith said. "He talked a lot about his background and the experience he has. He said this is his second time at Notre Dame and he loved his first time coaching there. He seemed pretty excited to be back at Notre Dame. He asked me a lot about me as well."

We asked Smith if Minter planned on coming for an in-home visit with him soon.

"We talked about that and he told me that he'd be doing that in three or four weeks," said Smith. "I'll get to meet him this weekend."

We asked Smith how it felt to finally know who his position coach would be.

"It felt great," he said. "I'm finally starting to develop a relationship with him, and that's important because I'll be working with him every day. I'm excited about it."

Next on the schedule for Smith is his official visit this weekend.

"I'm really looking forward to that," said Smith. "I'm looking forward to meeting the new coaches and seeing some of the committed guys again. I'm also excited to meet the other uncommitted players. Hopefully we can convince them to come."

Also scheduled to visit this weekend is tight end Joey Hiben.

"I'm really excited about my visit," said Hiben. "I can't wait to meet coach Weis and some of the other coaches. I'm also looking forward to meeting some of my teammates. I've talk to some of them on the phone so it will be nice to meet them finally."

Hiben hadn't heard from his position coach by the time we talked to him, but he's heard plenty from Weis and has been impressed with the new Irish coach.

"He called me the first day on the job so I was pretty impressed by that," said Hiben of Weis. "I've talked to him two or three times since then. He's really made an effort to make me comfortable with everything I really appreciate that. Coach Durkin came out ot my school so they've really tried to make sure I'm OK. I'm just excited to meet coach Weis and his new staff this weekend."

Hiben says he's 100 percent committed to Notre Dame and nothing is going to change that.

"It hasn't even crossed my mind to look at other schools," said Hiben. "All that's left for me is to meet the coaches. My mind is already made up so I'm just waiting to meet the coaches now."

We'll check back with both players after their visit to get an update on how their weekend went.


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