If you can get a prospect to travel from Notre Carolina for an unofficial visit, you better hope you take advantage of the opportunity. Robert Blanton (6-foot-1, 180 pounds) made that trip last week, and the Irish made a big impression on the standout defensive back.
"It went great," Blanton said of his trip to Notre Dame. "The campus was great. The college was great. The people were great. All the coaches were great; coach Brown, coach Lewis, coach Weis. The admissions guy was great.
"I met a lot of the players. A bunch of them came over and talked to me. I talked to Raeshon McNeil, who just came from North Carolina. I talked to Ambrose [Wooden]. He's majoring in what I want to major in and he's pretty successful and doing great things. I met all the defensive backs and sat there and talked to them after practice. I definitely think I could fit in with them. I was very comfortable hanging out with them. I got Ambrose's number and Raeshon's number, so I'll stay in touch with them.
"We watched spring practice. It was snowing a little bit, so they practiced inside," Blanton said. "I met coach Mendoza. He showed me around the weight room and talked about some of the lifts they do and how they work out."
Blanton had developed a strong relationship with Notre Dame's new defensive coordinator, Corwin Brown, over the phone. When Robert got as chance to speak with Brown in person, he felt just as comfortable.
"He's a great guy, the same as he was over the phone," Blanton explained. "His personality carried over from when I talked to him before. When I was watching practice he was showing me the different sets as the players ran through them. Everything was cool with him.
"I thought coach Lewis was a great guy also. He has a great personality. He seems like he knows his stuff. When I was talking to a couple of the guys they said there have been a lot of changes on the defense, but they said that the changes were good changes.
"We met with coach Weis for a long time," Blanton said. "It was my parents, my sister, my brother and me. We talked about academics, because it's a big thing there and it's something that I'm looking for in a school. They stressed academics there, which is great. We didn't talk much football, because he said that he knows that I'm a football player. It was pretty much academics and how things work there.
"They gave me a lot of attention… it was great. [Notre Dame] is up at the top. I'm not sure who else would be there, Notre Dame took a step ahead of everyone. I'll probably head back there sometime. I'd like to make a decision before my season."