From The Leaning Tower of Pisa to Notre Dame

With the attention from college football coaches beginning to really pick up, and receiving a recent scholarship offer from Connecticut, Mike Golic Jr. figured he better be available to talk with coaches while on a class trip to Italy. So he borrowed an international phone from a family friend, and took it with him to Europe.

Good thing he did, because Golic was able to receive and accept a scholarship offer from head coach Charlie Weis to attend the University of Notre Dame.

Mike Golic Jr. verbally committed to Weis, just after taking a tour of The Leaning Tower of Pisa with Northwest Catholic High (West Hartford, Conn.) classmates. The 6-foot-5, 265-pound offensive lineman is the first player to accept a Notre Dame scholarship offer in the recruiting class of 2008.

Weis was surprised to hear Golic Jr. was in Italy when he called and spoke with Mike Golic Sr., Monday morning. Golic Sr., an NFL analyst and radio host for ESPN, played defensive end and linebacker at Notre Dame from 1981-84, before moving on to play in the league.

"He was like oh okay not a problem," Golic Sr. said. "But with that phone, everything sounded crystal clear, like you were talking to him and he was next door. It seems like such a weird scenario to be walking away from The Leaning Tower of Pisa then talk to Charlie Weis and get such crazy news."

Golic Sr. called his son, who then in turn gave Weis a ring.

"Mike was obviously ecstatic," Golic Sr. said. "He worked so long and hard for a moment like this, and it just seemed odd he was in Italy for a moment like this."

Golic Sr. didn't get a chance to talk with his son after everything happened, but got a full report from his wife.

"He was like coach, I am committed, I'm not looking at any other schools," Golic Sr. said. "He has been getting heavy interest from Florida, Michigan, Penn State, Nebraska, Miami, Purdue, Maryland, Clemson, and a few others. He said, Charlie I'm done. I'm committed to Notre Dame and I'll do whatever I can to help get kids there, and I want to be part of the Notre Dame family."

Once a part of the extended family, soon to be in the Irish's immediate family.

Golic Jr. was a two-way starter for Northwest Catholic, and could play on either side of the ball on the next level.

"It's up for Charlie to decide," Golic Sr. stated. "He was an all-stater at center this year, and many thought he could've be an all-stater at defensive tackle as well. I'd say probably offensive line. He could play center or guard. He has great hands, great feet, very strong, a weightlifter. He'll gain the weight. He'll probably play his senior season at 270-275 pounds, and walk onto campus at 285."

The Golics had a good feeling a scholarship offer from Notre Dame would eventually come, they just didn't know if it would come this early in the process.

"I think Mike is that good of a player," Golic Sr. said. "I have another son Jake, a big tight end, and I think he is that kind of player as well. I sat both of them down a little while ago and told them its going to start getting real hectic, and you guys are going to have some decisions to make. While I'm not surprised about the offer, I think Mike is of that caliber to play at any of these schools, but the offer coming this early was a pleasant surprise."


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