Carufel Looking for that Feeling

Cretin Derham Hall high school (St. Paul, Minn.) has been a favorite stop for Notre Dame coaches over the last several years and they are back at the Minnesota high school again this year. Offensive guard prospect Matt Careful of is one of Notre Dame's top recruiting targets and the Irish getting one of his official visits.

Minnesota, Iowa, Notre Dame, Florida and Miami have been the five schools Matt Carufel has been focusing on for several months. October is almost here, which means recruits should be finalizing the dates for their official visits.

"I've only set up visits for Notre Dame (October 15) and Iowa for the Minnesota game," Carufel said.

"The first game I saw at Iowa was the first college game I went to see. It was amazing how into it the fans were. The fans there are out of their mind. They're tailgating at six in the morning for an 11 o'clock game. To be thrown into that kind of situation for your first game and then to see anything else it's kind of a letdown.

"Iowa is great, I like the coaches a lot, and I like everything about their facilities and the academics. With the choices I have, I'm not weighing the negatives and positives. I'm trying to see which positive is the biggest."

Today most recruits follow recruiting on the internet. Some kids do it because they like to follow where the top players are going to attend. Other use it as a guide to assist them in their decision making process.

"I follow along to see who is going where," explained Carufel. "But once school starts up there isn't much time to be doing stuff like that, so it's more like big news, who committed to the schools I'm interested in going to, and how many spots are left on the interior O-line.

"I'll most likely end up at guard," he added

While the Irish faithful are celebrating the quick start to the Charlie Weis era, Carufel is trying to separate his emotions from the process of evaluating schools.

"It's exciting to see them come out and play like they are right now, and to see the program do as well as it is right now, but everything is relative," said Carufel. "Coach Willingham came out and won his first eight games of his career, which means you need to look at the big picture, and in some cases you have to look past the football aspect and decided on what is going to be best for me just for school. That's why I have some of the schools I have. Notre Dame is obviously a great place to be academically.

"I think with all the schools I have, they're all top line programs, they have great football teams, great academics and top of the line facilities. The common bond between all the schools that I picked for my visits is that they all have coaches that I feel I will do very well playing for. I don't think there are things that separate one school from the others; I think it's that they are all alike which is what makes them my five schools."

From Matt's account of his trip to Iowa City, the Hawkeye faithful have set the bar very high. What will Carufel look for when he visits the Notre Dame campus October 15?

"I've been there once, so I know what to expect from the campus," he replied. "I've heard from a lot of my friends and teammates that a Notre Dame game is something you have to see if you're considering going there. I expect it to be quite an experience. With them playing USC I expect it to be a pretty memorable game.

"I'm just going to see how I fit in with the program and get a feel for what the stadium is like. Outside of the official visit, I'm going to be paying the most attention to the coaches.

"Notre Dame definitely has the tradition, but it's also up and coming. They're becoming a better team than they have been in awhile. I like where they're headed right now."

Inviting a top recruit in for the USC could be a troublesome event if the Irish don't change their fortunes against the Trojans.

"I think they're going to surprise them," Matt said about Notre Dame's chances of beating USC. "I can't say I have a real logical explanation. They're (USC) the No.1 team in the country, the national champions, and they have a couple of Heisman trophy candidates. But it just seems like all the stars are aligning for the big guns to fall. If USC gets upset this year, I'd say this is the best chance."

Comments: I really didn't get a good read on Matt, but that isn't surprising as he's kept things fairly close to the vest thus far. There is no doubt that he likes Iowa. Carufel will be part of a huge recruiting weekend for Notre Dame. It could pay huge dividends if the Irish play well. Top Stories