Aaron Nagel (6-1, 215-pounds) was receiving recruiting attention from a number of top programs, but Notre Dame is where he had dreamed of playing. That being the case Aaron didn't sit back a wait for his dream to come to him, he went out to get it.
"I contacted Notre Dame," Nagel said of initial contact with the Notre Dame staff. "I ended up sending them my junior tape in late December. They liked it, and since then I started getting mail from them.
"I was in for the January 14 junior day. This weekend I was not at the junior day. Coach Weis wanted to meet me, so I came up an hour or two before the junior day just to sit down with coach Weis so he could get to know me a little bit.
"They told me I most likely wouldn't get an offer because I had never played the outside linebacker position. They told me this ahead of time. Coach Weis was hoping to see me at camp before he offered me. Coach Weis wanted to sit down with me and explain how the process would go at Notre Dame and see what kind of person I was."
Too often you hear recruits talk about the "love" they want big-time programs to shower them with. It's refreshing when you run into a prospect that wants something so badly that they are willing to put forth the effort to secure a scholarship offer.
"When I did get an offer from there I was just real surprised and excited," Aaron explained. "Since I was a little kid, Notre Dame has always been my dream school and I've always wanted to go there. I'm glad I did go down there. Definitely because I got the offer but also I'm glad I went down there even if I didn't get an offer just to meet coach Weis.
"Coach Weis is such a great coach and you hear such good things about him, and I was just excited to get a chance to meet him. He was such a great guy, down to earth. He told you everything like it was. He doesn't care if he's going to hurt your feelings, but he just tells you how it is.
"He explained where I was," Nagel said of a pending scholarship offer. "He said how I hadn't played the outside linebacker position and he wasn't sure if I could make the transition easily. He explained all that to me, so that's probably the biggest thing that impressed me. He's a real personable funny guy."
During the hour long meeting Nagel still isn't certain what changed coach Weis' mind about offering him a scholarship, but he knew immediately that Notre Dame was where he wanted to be.
"There wasn't too much hesitation," Nagel said of his decision to commit to Notre Dame. "I knew since I was a little kid that I always wanted to go to Notre Dame. So when the offer came, I definitely wasn't going to pass it up. I already had my mind set that that's where I wanted to go.
"My whole family, we're all Notre Dame fans," Nagel continued. "I've always loved Notre Dame because they have the great academics, they have the great football program and then the atmosphere is unbelievable. It's like no other college. When coach Weis came it just made everything better because you knew the program was going to go uphill from there.
"I'm looking forward to all of it," Nagel said of his future at Notre Dame. "I'm looking forward to running out on the field the first time in front of all those fans. I'll be a little nervous, definitely. It'll be a whole new experience."