Raeshon McNeil, the 6-0, 175-pound Mocksville, North Carolina native committed to Notre Dame two months ago and was in the process of setting up his official visit for later in the year. With USC coming to South Bend for a pivotal game, Raeshon didn't want to miss all the excitement surrounding the Irish program.
"It was pretty much a spur of the moment decision," he said of his plans to take his official visit to Notre Dame this weekend. "I had been thinking about coming for a game or coming up the weekend of December 2 when they have their banquet; that's when a lot of guys are coming.
"My coach and I talked about it a lot and I thought it would be real beneficial for me to come watch a game. I've seen the campus and everything already. I just haven't been to a game, so I thought it would be nice to go up there and see how the fans are and see my future team play.
"Another reason I chose to go is because Darrin Walls, the other corner that committed, is supposed to be up there this weekend. I wanted to meet him since he'll be one of the guys I'll be playing with," he said. "I wanted a chance to meet the players I'm going to be playing with next year, and hang out with some of the guys that are already there.
Raeshon committed in August before the new Irish staff had a chance to prove to everyone that they were going to get the Notre Dame program headed in the right direction. Raeshon wasn't a guy that needed a lot of convincing, but he did have some friends that weren't believers until now.
"Most of them are real surprised," he said about his friend's reaction to Notre Dame's early season progress. "And now all the talk is about how coach Weis is doing a real good job turning the team around and all. I just tell them ‘I told you, I told you they were going to be good.'
"They kept talking about all the other teams in the top 10, but I told them Notre Dame was the team that was being slept on (not getting respect) the most."
Respect isn't much of a problem now that the Irish are ranked No.9 in the country, but with the No.1 ranked USC Trojans coming to town, does Raeshon believe the Irish can keep the momentum moving forward?
"I'm really hoping we can pull off a big upset," he responded. "I don't have a scoring prediction, but I'm hoping for a win. That's all that matters regardless of what the score is.
"They're (ND) going to have to do something about their (USC's) running game for one, because they have two great running backs. If they can manage to hold them to a minimum, which isn't easy to do, then all they have to worry about next is the big play receivers that they have.
"I'm confident we'll win. I believe they'll pull off the upset. A couple days ago I told coach Weis that I'm definitely looking for one.
Are Raeshon's friends believers and are they are as confident as he is the Irish will win?
"I doubt it, but they don't say it to my face," he said.