Notre Dame doesn't recruit a lot of players from the state of Arizona, but it always seems like there is one recruit each year that Notre Dame targets. John Romero, Jr., of Salpointe High School in Tucson, might be the guy Irish recruiting fans need to keep their eye on.
Romero is already 300 pounds and he has very good strength. But what makes him such an intriguing prospect is that he comes off the ball really well and he has great feet for a big man. He's played on both sides of the ball for a couple years and could be recruited as either an offensive or defensive lineman.
"I'm playing right tackle and defensive end," said Romero. "I think I'm better on defense. On defense, you just find the ball and get it, but I'll play either side.
"I'm hearing either side from colleges. U-of-A (Arizona) coaches are talking offense and others are talking defense."
Which schools are recruiting Romero?
"Arizona, Arizona State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Florida State and Miami (FL) are the main schools sending me stuff that I'm interested in," responded Romero.
With the mention of Notre Dame, we asked John how much interest he had in the Irish, and what he liked about Notre Dame.
"I have a lot of interest in Notre Dame," he said. "John Kadous is up there and he's a good friend of mine. I played next to him on the offensive line when he was at Salpointe. He says he likes it up there, and I wouldn't mind getting a chance to play next to him again.
"Notre Dame is sending me mail, but none of it is hand written," Romero continued. "I actually wish they were sending me more stuff. I'm very interested in Notre Dame."
We had read in other articles that John grew up a Michigan fan, so I asked him about the Wolverines.
"Yeah, I grew up liking Michigan, but it's not like if they offered I'd immediately jump on it," he said. "It's not like that. I'm going check out a lot of places."
As it stands, Romero has offers from both the in-state schools. He's visited both schools often and he's been to both school's football camps in the past. He did say that he'd likely take all of his visits before he made a decision.
Do his parents have a preference of whether he stays close to home or goes away for school?
"My parents would prefer that I stayed close to home at one of the state schools so that they could go to all my games, but they've said that it's my decision and they're going to support me either way," Romero said.
Comments: It's no secret that Notre Dame is in dire need of guys along the offensive and defensive line that can get after it. Romero sounds just like that type of guy. He's big and he can move. He knows Kadous fairly well, and I think Romero would like the opportunity to play with him again. If Notre Dame picks up the recruiting pace, they could have a good shot at landing this top prospect.