Mullen Names Leader

Notre Dame had a pair of De Smet (St. Louis, Mo.) high school stars visit campus for junior day a few weeks ago. Irish Eyes already spoke with top running back prospect Munir Prince about his visit, and we also recently spoke with tight end/defensive end Paddy Mullen about his visit. What did Mullen have to say about his visit to Notre Dame. Which team has jumped out to an early lead for his services?

Tight end/defensive end Paddy Mullen couldn't stop talking about his visit to Notre Dame.

"I loved it there," said Mullen of his Irish visit. "The place is unbelievable. It's quite a place.

"The coaching staff is unbelievable there. You can tell coach Weis put a lot of thought in putting that staff together. They all have a lot of experience, and most of them have experience in the NFL."

We asked Mullen what he liked the most about his Irish visit.

"I think it's the feeling you get when you are there," Mullen said. "They have a lot of tradition. We watched a movie when we were there about Notre Dame's tradition and history. It's very impressive to think of all the things they've accomplished there at Notre Dame."

We asked Mullen which position the Irish coaches talked to him about playing for Notre Dame.

"We all broke up into groups when we were there," he said. "I went with the tight end group, but I talked to the defensive line coach while I was there and he said he'd really like to see me at defensive end. They haven't seen me play tight end yet though."

The reason Notre Dame hasn't seen him at tight end is because Mullen broke his hand early in his junior season.

"I only played defensive end last year because I broke my hand," he said. "I can only (guess) for you, but I think I had 50 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and eight sacks last year."

The Irish didn't offer Mullen, but he did say they hinted towards doing that soon.

"They didn't offer me," Mullen said. "I talked to coach Weis and he hinted towards that though. He said they were thinking about offering me in the next couple of months.

"Nebraska has offered me. Michigan State has offered me, but I don't have that one in writing yet. Missouri then offered me, and just last week I got one from Kansas so I have four now.

"Notre Dame, Ohio State, Iowa and Michigan are the other schools that are recruiting me right now."

Mullen says he plans to visit Notre Dame again real soon.

"I'm going to Notre Dame again on April 2nd," Mullen said. "I'm going with my teammate, Munir Prince, and my coach for one of their spring practices.

"Munir committed to Iowa early last year, and he just went to the Notre Dame junior day and it knocked him off his feet. He didn't think he'd like it as much as he did. He didn't think he'd get an offer from Notre Dame. Hopefully he'll decide to go to Notre Dame. He certainly couldn't go wrong going to Notre Dame."

We asked Mullen if he was hoping for an Irish offer as well.

"I definitely am," he said. "It would be a dream come true to be offered by Notre Dame."

In the meantime, Mullen plans to visit a number of schools in the near future.

"I'm going to go take a visit to Nebraska," Mullen said. "I plan on going to Michigan State for one of their spring practices. I just got back from Missouri's junior day today. I'll go check out some others I'm sure."

When does Mullen plan to make a decision?

"I'm kind of planning on making my decision before my season starts," Mullen said. "I don't have to do it then, but I'd kind of like to get it out of the way. That's my plan, but we'll see what happens."

If the Irish offer, will Mullen accept?

Definitely," he said. "They are my No. 1 school right now. They'd have my verbal agreement if they offered, and that would be it."

Comments: You can't get much more confirmation than Mullen gave on his excitement for Notre Dame. Could he become Notre Dame's first verbal commitment of 2006? We'll check back soon and find out after his visit in April.


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