Harrison Smith (6-foot-3, 215 pounds) wasn't making his first trip to Notre Dame, but this trip was a little different than the visit he made his junior year for the Tennessee game.
"This visit I was more into it than I was my last visit," Smith replied when asked to compare his first trip to Notre Dame and his most recent visit. "Last time I was going up to a game, but this time they're in my top two schools. I was more interested in campus life, the coaching staff and all that type of stuff.
"The main thing was to see another game, especially a big game like that and seeing the campus with people on it. Last time I went up it was during the summer. The coaches were there, but there wasn't anything going on so there wasn't anything to judge.
"It was a great time," Smith said. "I don't know if you could ever rate a trip a 10, but I'd at least say a nine. I don't think you could ask much more from a trip. All my family enjoyed it, they thought it was great."
"The first night I was with Luke Schmidt. We just hung out and did what you'd normally do, which was nice. The second night, after the game, the players went out. I went out with Kyle McCarthy. We had a good time. They were all good guys. They told me how everything was there and what they liked about it. I liked them all.
One aspect of going to Notre Dame that is different to other programs is that Notre Dame does not have athletic dorms designed for football players. Some prospective athletes would prefer to have the football dorm lifestyle, but Smith doesn't have a preference.
"That's not a big issue," he explained. "I've heard some people say that they wouldn't like it but I think it's a good idea to kind of get away from the football team at times. It really doesn't matter to me either way really."
Smith will likely make his college selection between Notre Dame and Tennessee. At this point a kid can't make a wrong decision. One school is his childhood favorite that he knows extremely well, and the other school provides a tempting avenue of new experiences.
"The main thing with Tennessee is that it's the home school," Smith said. "Going away isn't a big thing and I don't think it would be too bad, so that's not really a downside. If it was Tennessee and another school, then it would be easy to just pick Tennessee, but Notre Dame is kind of an exception. It's kind of everybody's school. It has football and academics. It's all around the country, so it's kind of like everybody's school.
"Coach Weis was telling me that he can usually get into a players top two, and the other school is always the home school, so he always has to beat them out."
"I'm going to take an official to Tennessee at some point," Smith said. "I might take one to Stanford or Auburn. I have one set up for Stanford, but there isn't one set up for Auburn. I told coach Dunn that I'd come down to see a game. There's not a scheduled visit set for UT yet, but I am going to the Florida game this weekend."