Stoneburner Will Make A Return Trip to ND

Jacob Stoneburner and his Dublin Coffman High (Ohio) teammate Mike Adams were watching the Notre Dame football players make their way to the stadium for the Michigan game this past season, when Irish senior safety Chinedum Ndukwe noticed the two juniors from his hometown and shouted a quick message. "You guys better come here."

Maybe. By the time they are ready to make a decision, both guys will have a lot of offers to sift through.

The 6-foot-5, 218-pound Jacob Stoneburner, has two offers, one from Iowa and one from Clemson. He followed up a great junior season with a standout performance at the U.S. Army National Combine, Jan. 5-6, in San Antonio. Among the nation's top juniors, Stoneburner was named second-team all-combine at tight end. However, Stoneburner said he is being recruited as a receiver or h-back.

Texas was Stoneburner's first chance to see how he stacks up against national competition.

"I went to the Ohio State camp over the summer, but I never experienced anything with that much talent," said Stoneburner, who reported a 40-yard dash time of 4.53, and a shuttle time of 4.37. "I thought I did real well. I caught every ball that was thrown to me and almost every time I beat the defender. I did real well against most of the defensive backs."

Stoneburner also did well against the competition at Dublin Coffman, the school that every Notre Dame fan knows produced Brady Quinn and Ndukwe. Last season, he caught 63 passes for 946 yards and eight touchdowns. On top of Iowa and Clemson, he is getting a lot of mail from Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan and Tennessee.

Stoneburner has also been on an unofficial visit to Michigan for the Minnesota game last season. He will make a return trip to Notre Dame, Jan. 27, for junior day, and he will also head to Iowa's junior day.

"The campus was awesome, the stadium was awesome, the fan support, I never seen anything like that before," Stoneburner said about his visit to South Bend. "The game didn't turn out so well but it was a great experience."

Obviously he saw Michigan win twice last season.

"Their stadium was huge, but we really didn't get to do much, me and my Dad got their late," Stoneburner said.

Stoneburner lists his early favorites as Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Clemson, Iowa and Tennessee.

"I'm open for everything, it's early in the recruiting process," Stoneburner said. "I'll sit down in the summer and see what's in the best interest for me."

Ndukwe obviously thinks it's Notre Dame. The two have gotten a chance to talk on several occasions, but other than the statement the day of the Michigan game, chatter has been about topics other than recruiting.

"We used to work out together back when I was in middle school," Stoneburner said. "Every time he comes back home I talk to him. He was one of the best receivers at Coffman. He always give me good advice.

"He tells me you're their main target, so if they throw you the ball make sure you always catch it. Make sure you are setting a good example for the team, things like that."

Stoneburner's 63 receptions was one off the school record, and he said he had two receptions called back in the season finale, a 28-20 loss to eventual state champ Hilliard Davidson in the regional finals. It's not Ndukwe, but Pat LaMonica, who went on to play at Miami of Ohio who owns the school record.

Quinn and Stoneburner have also had small talk on a couple of occasions.

While best friends Quinn and Ndukwe were the big guys on campus at one time, it's now Stoneburner and Adams, who is one of the best offensive tackles in the nation.

"We always hang out," Stoneburner said. "We do a lot together. He sleeps at my house a lot, I sleep at his. We are real good friends.

"We've always talked about if we were going to get the same scholarship offers, we should go somewhere together and be roommates. We've been getting the same amount of mail since we were freshmen.

"He's been getting a lot of mail recently, but when it first started out we would get the same questionnaires."

Stoneburner says he can bench press 255 pounds and squat 400 pounds. He has a 3.5 GPA, and will be taking the SAT in March. A couple months later, things will get real busy in the summer.

"I'm going to Notre Dame's camp, probably Ohio State's, Michigan's, and Tennessee wants me to come down to their camp which is a possibility because its not that far. I'll also go to a couple combines in Ohio." Top Stories