Notre Dame is being very selective when they decide to hand out scholarship offers to offensive linemen. It has taken some time, but Matt Romine (6-5, 275-pounds) recently received his offer from the Irish.
"I got letters from them last year about his time so that's pretty early," Romine explained of his recruitment. "They sent me some stuff about their camp and then toward the middle the season I stopped getting stuff from them.
"Coach Blankenship sent my highlight video up there. When they got it coach Haywood said they were giving it to coach Weis before they offered. About a week and a half later I got a text from him [Haywood] that said coach Weis wanted me to call him. I called coach Weis and he told me he had an offer from them and he wanted to know about my interest in Notre Dame."
Romine's response to the Notre Dame head coach was quick and to the point.
"I'm definitely interested," Romine said. "It's one of my top schools with all the tradition up there. He [Weis] is one of the best coaches ever, I think. I'm definitely interested.
"I've always followed college football. I'd definitely say I was a pretty big fan of them growing up. I tuned in to watch them win."
Last fall Matt was able to watch the Irish win in person as he and his father traveled to South Bend for an Irish home game.
"I was up there for the Tennessee game," Romine explained. "I'm going to up to the Notre Dame spring game April 22. I'm probably going to go up there for a practice and then the spring game.
"I'll be looking at the facilities," Romine said of his visit to South Bend. "I'll talk to coach Latina and see how they do things up there. I talked to him the day I spoke with coach Haywood, so I've spoken to him a little bit. He's sent me some hand-written letters.
"I'm looking for a coach that I feel most comfortable with. I heard you can't go to a school because of a coach, because the coach can always go somewhere and leave, but I'm looking for the right feel with a coach."
Romine has been offered by Arkansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Tulsa, Notre Dame, Houston, Kansas, Kansas State and Nebraska. He is considering them all, but he is also keeping the door open for additional suitors.
"I'm open to anyone right now." Romine said. "I have nine written offers right now. I haven't put a list of top schools together. I'm just waiting to see who offers.
"I'm looking at Miami right now. I visited there on my spring break a couple weeks ago. I'm also looking at USC. Those are just some of the schools I like. I'm just trying to visit a bunch of schools. I'm just going to look at my opportunities at each school and go from there."
Romine is a candidate to graduate early, but he has yet to decide if he will go that route. If he does decide to graduate early, it could alter the timing of his decision.
"I've heard different views from various people who have gone through this and some of them said you want to get it done by your senior season so you can concentrate on that," Romine explained, "I've also heard to take your official visits, get to places and see everything and then make your decision. Right now I'm kind of leaning toward taking my visits."
When Romine and his teammates hit the field next season, they will be playing under a new head coach. Tulsa Union recently hired Kevin Wright, the former head football coach at Warren Central in Indianapolis, Ind. Wright spent six years at Warren Central where he turned the program into a state powerhouse. Warren Central recently won their third consecutive Class 5A Indiana State Championship under Wright.