To be successful in recruiting Notre Dame will need to grab some of the top players in Ohio each year. As the Notre Dame coaches turn their attention toward the 2009 recruiting class, one player they may want to get in touch with is offensive lineman Sam Longo (6-foot-5, 240 pounds).
"I haven't heard anything from them, but I'm definitely interested in Notre Dame," Longo responded when asked if the Irish had been in touch with him. "I think they have a great program and I think Charlie Weis has done a good job since he got there. I like their tradition. It's a good school to go to because the academics are really high.
"They're hard workers since Charlie Weis turned the program around. I know he used to coach up with the Patriots, and he's done well with the team since he arrived. He did well with Brady Quinn, so I know he's a great coach.
Although colleges aren't allowed to actively recruit prospects until September 1, of their junior year, schools are allowed to send potential recruits general information about their school. Longo hasn't heard much from Notre Dame, but he certainly has the attention of other big-time programs.
"I got a letter from Penn State on Saturday," Longo said. "I've been hearing a lot from the Big Ten. I've been hearing from Ohio State, Penn State, Iowa, Illinois and a bunch of schools like that. I've been hearing from schools in the Big East and the ACC.
"I grew up an Ohio State fan. My dad played there and they have a great program and they have a great tradition, but I'm open to everybody. I don't have any offers or anything like that, but I definitely like Ohio State."
Growing up under the roof of a former Division I football player has definitely aided Sam in his development.
"My dad has helped me out a lot," Longo explained. "He played offensive line in high school, so he knows where I'm coming from. We review game tape together and he helps me out with me lifting. He's always there to help me out and help me get better.
"I think I'll play offensive tackle [in college]. I'm 6-foot-5 and I think I should grow more. I think when I put on some more weight and grow into my body that tackle will be the ideal position for me.
"I think I get off the ball pretty quickly. I think my speed and strength are my biggest assets. I can get into the defender quick and with my long arms, I can usually drive him into the ground. I'm very aggressive off the ball and I work hard."I do play a little defensive end and defensive tackle," Longo said. "But I love the offensive line. I love manhandling people. I like playing defense, but I think offense is the right spot for me. I think that fits my strengths as a football player."
Longo attended football camps at both Western Michigan and Ohio State this summer, and he plans to make return trips to both campuses this fall.
"I'm definitely going to go up to some games at Western Michigan, because they've invited me." Longo said. "My dad gets season tickets to Ohio State, so I'll probably go to some home games there. As far as any other unofficial visits this fall, I don't have any planned, but you never know. I'll plan some visits after my season. I'll definitely hit up some junior days at various schools."