Take one look at Marvin Austin (6-2, 292 pounds) on film and you'll know immediately why he is one of the top junior defensive tackles in the country. Notre Dame needs to hit a home run with the defensive tackles that they bring in with the next recruiting class, and Austin has early interest in the Irish.
"Of course," Austin said emphatically when asked if he was interested in attending Notre Dame. "It has a great tradition. Notre Dame is "the" college football team. When you think college football, the first thing that comes to your mind is Notre Dame. The national appeal attracts me and they just have a great tradition.
"Coach (Peter) Vaas is recruiting me. I talked to coach Vaas during football season. I told him that I was looking forward to being recruited by Notre Dame. He's e-mailed and sent letters -- we've been in touch.
"I haven't been down to Notre Dame, but I'm definitely looking forward to it," Austin added.
It's a good thing the Irish started recruiting Austin early, because the line of top recruiters has already started to form.
"I have a few offers, but I can't remember them all of the top of my head, Penn State, Maryland, Florida, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Louisville, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, and Illinois, there's more though.
"Not many schools have seen my film, because I'm just sending it out, but hopefully things will pick up even more," he added.
There is a reason Austin is one of the top players in the country, and to him, the reason is fairly straightforward.
"I work hard at what I do," Austin explained. "I'm a real smart player. I play under control, but I'm a passionate guy. When the time comes and the game is on the line, I want to be the guy who makes the big play at the end."
Another top player from the Washington, D.C. area that the Irish are pursuing is a wide receiver from Dunbar high school, Arrelious Benn.
"That's my man," Austin said of Benn. "I actually talked to him before you called. We talk about a lot schools, and what they have to offer. There are a lot of schools, like Notre Dame who have a need for defensive lineman and a need for speed and a need for the tenacious play that we'll bring to their team. Schools that want good guys, good athletes -- good student athletes."
As a junior Austin compiled 76 tackles eight sacks, 15 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, and five fumble recoveries.