"It was like wow this place, I'm going to be a part of this," Lane Clelland said. "This is awesome."
Clelland has obviously heard about all the Notre Dame game-day traditions, and about the beauty of the campus, but he finally got to soak it all in himself for a change. Being on campus one day in March didn't allow him to do that. Watching Notre Dame beat Duke 28-7, was the icing on the cake.
"Seeing the players walk from mass to the stadium," Clelland began talking about the impressive things. "After the game they all held up their helmets up walking around the field. Hitting the sign, that's awesome. No matter what the score was or the how bad the rainy weather got, no one really left and that was really cool. At a lot of other places you think they would. Everyone stuck through and stayed and that was awesome."
Clelland literally got to see the whole Notre Dame campus.
"That was awesome getting to understand the tradition as a far as your roommate being a non-athlete," he said. "I heard about that and got to see that first hand. What a neat a tradition that is, and really what the dorms are. I got to see everything on campus. The Basilica. I talked to professors, and a student-athlete advisor. I talked to all the coaches and stuff. It was really fun. All around great trip.
"Obviously the win. That was awesome to see. Seeing the seniors go out with a win was really cool because they were happy talking to a few of them afterwards."
Clelland's host was freshman offensive lineman Taylor Dever. He arrived on Friday night with his parents and left late in the day on Sunday. He said he spent a lot of time with Dever and fellow freshmen offensive linemen Matt Romine and Andrew Nuss.
"They honestly can't wait just to get that little extra whatever they need whether it be strength and or technique, and get out there and compete," Clelland said. "Matt got injured and the others are red-shirting and waiting for their chance."
Clelland can't wait for his chance either.
He also got to meet many of the current players, and also hung out with Braxston Cave, Michael Golic Jr. Kyle Rudolph, and Gerell Robinson. Clelland commented that he thought Robinson, the four-star receiver from Arizona, had a great time as well.
Watching the game from the stands, it hit Clelland that over the course of the next four or five years, he'll actually be on the field.
"It's kind of funny thinking that I'll be out there," Clelland said. "The fans were great, the atmosphere was awesome. I can't wait to be a part of that."
Clelland and Mc Donogh High finished the regular season 6-4. He has now turned his attention to wrestling for the time being, where he said the team is ranked 19th in the nation. In the 285-pound weight class, Clelland finished second in the state, losing to a kid who is now wrestling for Navy. That makes Clelland the favorite to win it this season.
Once wrestling ends, instead of maybe wrestling at Junior Nationals, Clelland figures he'll probably begin lifting and getting bigger for when he arrives at Notre Dame. He'll also throw the shot-put and discus for the track team.
Clelland doesn't think he'll make it back to South Bend until it's time to report. By the sounds of it, if he did, he'd find even more to love.