It might seem strange to think about a freshman offensive lineman contributing during his first year in college. In fact it is rather rare to find a player that is capable of competing with upperclassmen so soon after high school. Yet that is one of the reasons Matt Carufel (6-foot-5, 288-pounds) wanted to come to Notre Dame and he has been preparing knowing he will likely see the field immediately.
"I hope so, I've been getting ready for a long time to put myself in that situation and I'm pretty excited," responded Carufel when asked about his chances of playing during the 2007 season. "I'm around 290 pounds. I got up to 310 pounds right after the Army All-American game, which was too high. I was about 295 pounds most of the spring and then I dropped a little bit recently because I getting ready to go run a lot.
"I'm taking a week off before I head out [to South Bend]. I've been lifting forever, but I'm just taking a week off before I have to head out to Notre Dame and get started on the real business. I needed it. I've been working nonstop for a while, so I'm just taking the week off to rest up and get ready."
"It does feel weird just sitting around home doing nothing," Carufel continued. "I guess it's good for you to take a week off. I've been done with classes for about a month, and I graduated about three weeks ago."
Once Matt and his classmates get to Notre Dame, they will see familiar faces in the crowd.
"I found out my roommate is Sam Young, so I've been talking to him," Carufel said. "I talked to him a little bit in San Antonio. He was on the other team, but all the Notre Dame kids kind of hung out together. It's pretty cool, because I'll know a lot of the guys going to school with me.
"I called the bottom bunk in our room so I'm excited about that," Matt joked.
Matt will be a guest on tonight's Power Hour with Mike Frank.