Samardzija has good start to season

<P>Jeff Samardzija always knew he wanted to go to Notre Dame. He has spent more than his share of Saturdays in South Bend. When given the opportunity to play for Notre Dame, it didn't take Jeff long to make his decision. </P>

Jeff Samardzija did commit to Notre Dame on August 12th and there will be no looking back. "I kind of always knew that was where I wanted to go. It always felt like the right decision for me. This team has so much history and they have been a successful program for so many years. What I like about Notre Dame is that they are never satisfied. They are always trying for that perfect season, the perfect year or team. The coaching staff is very positive. They took the time to get to know me and they made me feel like they really wanted me to be part of the team."

With his college choice decided, Jeff is now able to concentrate on his season. "Its been going pretty well. I have 18 catches for 470 yards and 6 touchdowns so far. I only have one interception so far but they never throw my way. I think they have thrown to my side a total of 4 times this year."

Jeff has been having a lot of fun since his commitment. His friends give him a hard time and Notre Dame fans from all over have took the time to welcome him. "Not much has really changed since my commitment. My friends give me a hard time all the time. If I make a mistake, they are saying 'where did you say you were going to college again.' It's all fun and games though. I have all these Notre Dame fans coming up to me to congratulate me. They pull you aside and tell you all the stories about Notre Dame games of the past or particular players, they have been wonderful to me. I have made it to all the home games and and I plan to make it to all of the games this year. The fans have been great."

Jeff has also been impressed with the Irish team this year. "It's been been awesome to watch. Coach Willingham is such a great guy and a great leader. Carlyle Holiday has shut some people up who said he can't pass. He makes the throws he needs to makes. The defense has has played outstanding and the offense has made the plays they needed to win the game. Coach Willingham pulled me aside as we were walking down the tunnel after the Michigan game and had a nice chat with me. That is what is a great about him. He takes the time to let you know he wants you and that you are his guy. They had just won this big game and he takes 5 minutes to talk to me."

Samardzija has also had the chance to meet some of the current recruits that will be reporting with him next August. "At the Michigan game, I got to meet Chinedum and Brady. We had a lot of fun at the game and running onto the field after they won. I really like both of them. I have also been chatting with Joe Brockington quite a bit. Joe is really fired up about Notre Dame. He is such a cool guy to talk to.

As with any young recruit, the comparisions start to surface. I had told Jeff that he reminds a lot of people of Denver Bronco wide receiver >B>Ed McCaffrey. "That is all Rex Hogan. He keeps making that comparison. Rex is a great guy. I am not sure who I am close to. I have been compared to anyone from Randy Moss to Joe Jurevicius. I am an over the middle guy. I make my living over the middle. I suppose I always will. I have good hands and I am not afraid of the middle. You take some shots but you always get back up. I guess you could say that I am a possession receiver but people then say you can't get down field. I can get down field. I can take a pass over the middle and take it down field, I can run very well. I am like any wide receiver and I want the ball all the time.

Jeff has also been watching the progress of the freshman wide receivers at Notre Dame. "I have been watching them, they are both great players. It's great to see that they are giving these young players a chance. I am a wide receiver so I watch all the wide receivers all the time. Both guys have been playing well. People don't see the little things like route running and blocking but Coach Miles has both of those guys doing everything well. I look forward to playing with them."

Probably the single most important thing to Jeff Samardzija is the degree he will get from Notre Dame. "The main thing I want to accomplish is get my degree. That is my #1 thing and that is second to nothing. That is the most important thing to me no matter what happens. That degree is the biggest thing I am getting out of this. After that, I just want to win and be victorious. I want to win an National Championship at Notre Dame. I cannot imagine what that feeling would be like. I don't want to take anything for granted while I am there and I want to have no regrets when I am done."

The best part of my job is getting to know some very classy young men. Jeff Samardzija ranks right up there with some of the best I have talked with. Jeff is just a happy-go-lucky guy that is thankful for the opportunities he has been given. I hope Coach Willingham can sign 24 more just like him this year. He is off to a great start so far.


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