Chris Stewart had plenty to keep him occupied once he returned to the Houston area from his official visit to Notre Dame. His team is just getting back to practice and a new schedule has been devised to make up for the games missed due to Hurricane Rita. Now that life has returned to normal, what was his impression of Notre Dame?
"It was pretty good. I really enjoyed it and the campus was beautiful," he replied. "It was one of the best games I've ever seen. I really thought they were going to pull it out when they came back in the end. You don't like the end result, but they worked hard for it, and it was still a pretty good game.
"I like the intelligence of the players. I got a chance to sit down with Darius Walker and some of the other guys. They were really down to earth. I just really enjoyed it."
"Even the guys they are recruiting, you can tell that they are a good group," Stewart continued. "You can tell just sitting down with people, especially Jashaad (Gaines), Aaron (Brown), and Alex (Stadler) I really had some time to sit down with them. They all have different personalities, but you could tell -- good schools recruit good people"
Chris Stewart obviously isn't your typical recruit. When he says the academic side of a school is important, he means it. One of the highlights of the trip for Chris was discussing the academic side of Notre Dame.
"I saw a lot of the campus and did the academic thing," he said. "I met with Dan Saracino, the Director of Admissions. I had a great conversation with him. He's a really intelligent man. I was really impressed with him. What's interesting is that we kind of have the same philosophies in life, he's big on traveling, seeing other cultures, and he's into foreign languages like I am, so I think we really hit it off.
"It was one of my best visits, the best visit so far," he said of his trip to Notre Dame.
Besides Notre Dame, Chris is still considering LSU, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M. He has visited all those schools unofficially but had planned to visit them on official visits as well. So where does he go from here?
"I'm going to take these other three official visits," he said "I had them scheduled, but because of our new (football) schedule, I'm going to have to figure out something different. I'm not going to be taking off a day where we have practice. I'm going to schedule it around my own schedule. Right now I don't know which games I'm going to be going to or what days I'm going to take those visits because everything is up in the air.
"I'm going to go there for a final evaluation. I'm just going to watch those four teams, watch their seasons, watch the morale, and watch how the coaches are coaching. These teams are under a magnifying glass right now. Once I'm done with that, it'll be time to decide."
With Notre Dame receiving six verbal commitments within the past week, the Irish recruiting class now has 18 members. The Irish have two offensive linemen among those 18, so there available spots are dwindling. Does this force a prospect like Stewart to speed up his timetable?
"I check on line and check with the coaches, and just try to stay aware," he answered. "If it comes down to one or two more guys that they can take, I don't know what I'd do until I was in that situation.
"I think they (Notre Dame) got a rush of commits because people realized that this isn't a team that's just going to lie down. They're going to come out firing and charging and reloading.
"I think what it is for the most part is that coach Weis , coach Haywood, coach Latina and all the other guys telling recruits, ‘hey this is what we're going to do' and they come out and actually do it."
Comments: Stewart is taking a very business like approach to his college decision. He isn't going to make a rash decision. There is no doubt in my mind that Chris would fit in very well at Notre Dame. While he really enjoyed his visit to Notre Dame, he will visit the other schools officially before he does anything. Survive those and Notre Dame will sign a very talented offensive lineman.