Notre Dame hosted several of its top recruiting targets for a junior day on January 27. One of the top prospects in attendance was Jacob Stoneburner (6-foot-5, 215 pounds).
"It was my third trip to Notre Dame," Stoneburner responded when asked about his junior day experience. "All their facilities are great, top of the line. I really like the campus. It's even nice when it's 20 degrees and snow on the ground.
"We ate lunch up in the press box and were able to look out into the stadium,...that was pretty cool. There's so much tradition at that stadium, it was neat being able to sit in the press box like that."
After lunch Stoneburner had an opportunity to speak with recruiting coordinator Rob Ianello about where he fit into Notre Dame's recruiting plans.
"Coach Ianello said that he's the only one on staff that has seen my film and he thinks I could fit into the tight end or H-back role," Stoneburner explained. "He said that I'm kind of in between tight end and wide receiver. Either I'm not big enough to be a tight end or I'm not fast enough to be a wide receiver, although he said my ball skills would be able to make up for that stuff.
"[Ianello] said that an H-back might suite me best, which is what most coaches have been saying. I guess it doesn't matter to me. Whatever is going to get me to college, I'm willing to do. I just want to be able to catch the ball. At Notre Dame the tight end catches the ball as much as the wide receivers, so no matter what, you're going to get the ball.
"[Ianello] told my parents, ‘We're very serious about recruiting Jake. We're going to wait until after signing day to go back through everything, but he's very high on our board.' Jacob recalled of their conversation. "I don't know about an offer. I don't know if they'll want me to come back up after the whole coaching staff sees my film. Maybe they'll want to see me at a camp before they offer... I just hope I get one."
Stoneburner has two early scholarship offers from Clemson and Iowa. The day after visiting Notre Dame, Jacob made a trip to Iowa for a junior day. He also has plans to travel to several other campuses.
"I'm going to Michigan's junior day with Mike [Adams] Feb 17," Stoneburner said. "I think I'm going to Ohio State's junior day in March. On March 3, I'm also going to Tennessee to hang out with the tight ends coach and see the facilities."
Stoneburner hasn't formulated a list of his top schools, but it is likely that the Irish will be in contention for he signature throughout the year.
"Most schools are happy to have one thing they're known for, but Notre Dame has two," Stoneburner said. "They're a team that can contend for a national championship every year and still offer an Ivy League education… you can't beat that anywhere. Even if you don't end up playing in the pros, you still end up with a great education. I think that's what is difference between Notre Dame and most schools."
As a junior, Stoneburner caught 63 passes for 948 yards and eight touchdowns. As a sophomore, he caught 31 passes for 538 yards and five touchdowns.
He has a 3.5 GPA, and will be taking the SAT in March.