Last season as a junior running back Luke Schmidt dominated Indiana high school football. Returning this season as a top high school senior and as a Notre Dame commitment has made him a marked man.
"We're 6-1. We lost our fourth game," Schmidt explained. "I'm doing alright compared to last year because the defense is basically targeting on me. Also, few days before our first game our starting QB went down so we had to bring a quarterback that had no experience. All we could do was run the ball. We struggle a little bit, but we did alright."
Like most of the Notre Dame commitments and recruits, Schmidt has had time to watch the Irish get off to a quick start.
"Yeah, I went up to the Michigan State game and I was at the Purdue game last Saturday," he said. "The game was exciting. It was loud – real loud. We were sitting right in front of the student section. They were excited about the game. It obviously didn't turn out like most would have liked but it was still pretty exciting.
"The Purdue game was a blowout from the get-go really. After the first drive they pretty much dominated Purdue. They pretty much took them out of the game early and Purdue didn't have enough time to recover.
Irish head coach Charlie Weis wasn't a head coach prior to coming to Notre Dame so he had to make a number of assurances about not only how his teams would perform but how prized recruits like Schmidt would be used. Is there a sense of gratification from seeing how Notre Dame is competing now that Weis is the head coach?
"He (coach Weis) said he was going to do it, he did it, he got it done," Schmidt replied "Except for the Michigan State game, they pretty much dominated all the games, so he obviously knows what he's doing.
"He only had a half of a year to get ready for this season and they've only lost one game. They're 4-1 with a half year under their belt. Think about what another year would mean to everyone -- It could be a great year.
When Weis was recruiting Schmidt he said he envisioned him as a big back in the one-back set. Seeing how Weis has used Rashon Powers-Neal has gotten Luke excited about the Irish offense.
"I saw the spring game. I saw what was going on there (with Powers-Neal)," he described. "And I said I'd like to do that--hopefully that doesn't change for the season. Hopefully he stays at that. They have, so I like it.
Weis and his staff have not only been winning, but they have done so using a number of freshmen and that hasn't been lost on player like Schmidt.
"It would be nice to get in there my freshman year and play," he said "Obviously if you can play as a freshman he'll put you in there, so I just got to get ready. When I get up there I just have to show them what I got and hopefully it's enough where I'll be playing. Obviously if I'm playing early then I'm getting the job done.