Notre Dame recruited the state of Oklahoma very heavily for the 2006 recruiting class. Expect that trend to continue as Enid high School has one of the top juniors in athlete Austin Box.
"He is a special player," Enid head coach Tom Cobble said of Box. "It was pretty evident his freshman year. We moved him up to the varsity his freshman year and played him in the secondary and also at wide out. He had seven interceptions that year. He did a great job.
"This year we moved him to full-time quarterback, we run out of the gun and throw the ball a lot. He's down an outstanding job. He's so new at quarterback, he's only played about 12 games there in his life, and he set a new school record for total yards in a season. He's in the top ten in almost every offensive and passing record that we have here."
"He can play wide receiver or tight end," Cobble continued. "We play him at free safety on defense. There's a lot of potential for him next year and in the future. He's 6-3, 215 pounds, and he runs a 4.6 forty on the button right now."
"I think his best position might be weak-side linebacker," coach Cobble projected of Box. "He has a linebacker mentality. He's going forward the whole time. He's so smart and has such a knack for the game that he can play in the secondary. He's intercepted 14 passes (career).
"I think the fact that he plays quarterback and that he has such a good head for the game that he'll play any position. He knows situations and he knows positions and he's going to do things right.
"He's a great young man and he makes great grades," Cobble said of Austin. "You'd never know how gifted he is the way he reacts with his other teammates and the coaches. He's just regular guy."
The combination of great athlete and top student are what college programs covet and the traffic pattern to coach Cobble's door is busy.
"OU (Oklahoma) has offered him," Cobble said of the home-state Sooners. "He's gone to their camp for a few years so they know about him. They realize his ability. Florida State has been in contact with him, and all of the Big XII.
"He's gotten several notes from Coach Weis and coach Haywood. He and his dad visited there several weeks ago. Even though he has the strong ties to OU, he and his parents are very well aware of the national implications of all this, and they are going to be open through all this. You get a degree from the University of Notre Dame and that's pretty special."
Like many kids in Oklahoma, Box grew up a fan of the Sooners, but his trip to South Bend for the Syracuse game did open his eyes.
"I had been receiving mail from Notre Dame, so my dad and I decided that we wanted to go down to see a game,' Box explained of what led him to make a trip to Notre Dame. "It was a pretty amazing experience. I liked the walk the players do from mass to the football stadium before the game. Everything was really neat.
"Growing up around schools with football rich traditions (Oklahoma and Oklahoma State), Notre Dame is the same way. They've had a great tradition for many years and that's something I like about a school, I know Notre Dame has it.
Coach Haywood and I also talked a lot to the recruiting coordinator, Rob Ianello. It was amazing."
"The winning definitely attracts attention," Box said of his interest in Notre Dame. "I know that addition of Charlie Weis, that it would be a great place to be. He is just an absolutely amazing coach. They have a chance because it comes down to where my family and coaches think I'll fit best, before who I'm a fan of."
In addition to his interest in Notre Dame, Austin said that Texas Tech, Tennessee and Oklahoma are a few of the schools that he is looking into at this stage.