With Charlie Weis as the new head coach at Notre Dame, the team is known for their offense. Knowing that they team struggled defensively; the Irish will look to bring in the best prospects in 2007 to help shore up the shaky defense. Bryce McNaul (6-4, 235 pounds) is one of the players the Irish staff is going to target, as he was one of a select group of prospects that was recently invited to a junior say in South Bend.
"It's a school that my family and I have liked for a long time," McNaul replied when asked his interest in attending Notre Dame. "My dad played for Cincinnati Moeller under Gerry Faust. He played with guys like Bob Crable and Tony Hunter and other guys that went on to play at Notre Dame. So it's almost been a dream to play at Notre Dame. I know a lot about the tradition there.
"The direction of the program has sparked my interest. I've been a long-time Notre Dame fan and to see the program turn around like it has with the advent of coach Weis' and the new coaching staff, it has really piqued my interest in the program and the school itself.
The trip to South Bend for the junior day wasn't McNaul's first. Bryce made a visit for a game last fall and had a chance to speak with Notre Dame's starting right tackle who also attended Eden Prairie high school.
"It's a big help having Mark LeVoir there as well," McNaul said. "I went down there for the BYU game and I had an opportunity to have dinner with him and his family. It was nice because it gave me insight into what Notre Dame is all about from a player's standpoint instead of a coach's.
"It's not a lot different than what I had been hearing from their coaches. Notre Dame is a school that is all about football, but they're very concerned about academics. That's a big positive because I'm making a forty-year decision and not a four-year decision. Mark will be heading to the NFL but otherwise he'd still be set because Notre Dame is just that great of a university. He told me a lot of great things.
Having a player on campus twice before the end of their junior year helps build a strong relationship, but Notre Dame will face stiff competition throughout the recruiting process and a number of schools are already tracking McNaul.
"Definitely Louisville," Bryce replied when asked which schools were recruiting him the hardest. "They've stepped up in the past couple weeks. Ohio State has always been there. I went to their practice before they played Notre Dame. I went to all of Minnesota's home games. I had a chance to go to two of Iowa's games and one of Northwestern's.
Right now it's pretty much wide open I can't really rule anyone out or put anyone ahead of the rest at this point, but schools like Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State, Florida and Louisville, Stanford are all very appealing.