One such recruit was quarterback/defensive back Kyle McCarthy. The Cardinal Mooney High School standout had just finished helping his team complete a magical season by winning the state title. Yet, despite his team's accolades and his personal accolades, McCarthy wasn't hearing often from former Notre Dame coach Tyrone Willingham during the recruiting process. Thus, he was almost ready to commit to in-state power Ohio State. Weis's hiring changed all of that.
"Notre Dame wasn't recruiting me that hard under Willingham," McCarthy said. "When coach Weis got the job things picked up. Before that I was pretty set on Ohio State until Notre Dame came in. The rest it history."
McCarthy agreed to visit Notre Dame. He had already visited other schools, but the life-long Notre Dame fan wanted to visit the Notre Dame campus, compare it to his other visits, and interact with some current Irish players.
"I grew up a Notre Dame fan, but I was really impressed with Ohio State and Northwestern when I visited those campuses," McCarthy said. "When I got to ND I knew it was a really special place and I knew it was where I wanted to be.
"Ambrose Wooden and Tommy (Zbikowski) hosted my visit. Those two guys really answered my questions about how they balanced a tough football schedule with academics, and how people truly care about football. Hanging out with those guys, and seeing how they really care for the program helped me make my decision."
McCarthy waited patiently for an Irish offer and received his offer right before his official visit to Notre Dame. His official visit helped cement his desire to fulfill his childhood dream of attending Notre Dame. The process of receiving an offer from Notre Dame was both intense and thorough.
"Coach Polian came in for an in-home visit, then coach Minter, and then coach Lewis," he said. "After that I really didn't know what would happen. Then Coach Weis called me up and said that I was the type of player Notre Dame wanted. That's when they offered. He was really straightforward."
With an offer in hand, McCarthy committed to the Irish for a variety of reasons. Additionally, McCarthy, who became one of coach Weis's fifteen signees in the 2005 recruiting class, developed a good rapport with Weis and new defensive backs coach Bill Lewis. McCarthy says he's looking forward to working with coach Lewis.
"I really don't have a top reason for signing with Notre Dame. It was really a combination of things," he said. "It was the best combination of tradition, football, academics, people, and people involved in the organization. Notre Dame has the kind of people I want to be around for the next four years.
"Coach Weis cares about his players and really respects himself and his players. He also wants to bring that family attitude to ND."
"I'm very excited about working with him," McCarthy said about Lewis. "If you look at his experience and resume, it speaks for itself. Not only has he coached in the NFL, but he's coached one of the premiere defenses in the NFL. Who better to work under?"
McCarthy's present plans are to stay in shape and workout. He plans on traveling to Notre Dame during the summer months to get to know the players and coaches. Until then, it's great having McCarthy aboard.
"Right now I am waiting on a workout schedule from Notre Dame, but personally, I've been lifting and doing some speed drills," McCarthy said. "I think I can work on everything. Nothing I can do is good enough for where I want to be. I need to get faster, bigger and stronger."
"Definitely," said McCarthy in response to whether or not he plans to go to Notre Dame during the summer. "I'm planning on going up this summer. Maybe I wouldn't go to Notre Dame for the whole summer, but I'm definitely going up there for some of the summer. I want to get to know the team and the coaches better."