Taken Aback

As a sophomore in high school, Reid Fragel's Gross Pointe (Mich.) South teammate Jimmy Saros asked him if he wanted to attend the Notre Dame-Stanford game in South Bend together. A junior at the time, Saros was being recruited by the Cardinal, and they asked him to come check them out.

The 6-foot-7, 254-pound Fragel, now one of the top tight ends in the class of 2009 recruiting class, made the trip with his buddy, who now is verbally committed to Brown.

"It was unbelievable," Reid Fragel stated. He recently got his first scholarship offer from Miami (Ohio). "I was kind of taken aback. All the history pouring out of it. I've never seen a campus like it before. I was blown away, being the first time, I'd been on the campus."

Fragel has been back to Notre Dame three times since. Other than from the Irish, he is receiving interest from Tennessee, Virginia, Vanderbilt and all the Big Ten schools except Ohio State. Programs are recruiting him as a tight end, offensive tackle and defensive end.

This past fall, Fragel had 24 receptions for 328 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 65 tackles and five sacks, as Gross Pointe went 5-4 and just missed making the playoffs.

"Obviously his size is one of his best attributes," head coach Tim Brandon said. Fragel reported a bench press of 320 pounds, a squat of 485, and a 4.8 second 40-yard dash. "He is in the weight room everyday. He can lift a house and push a truck. He has a great work ethic. Great head on his shoulders. Great GPA (3.7). He is very versatile in regards of what position he can play. He could play five different positions depending on what a program wants him to do."

After participating at Notre Dame's elite camp in the summer, head coach Charlie Weis told Fragel what position he likes him at.

"He said he sees me as a possession tight end, and not to be persuaded into a tackle because of my frame, and stick to the tight end position."

However, Fragel is open to any position. He just wants to play.

"I get just as much pride blocking for my running back who runs for 60 yards, as catching a pass for 60 yards," Fragel said.

This past fall, Fragel and his father, who played at Michigan State before finishing at Northern Michigan, hit the road for several unofficial visits. They went to Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Iowa, Virginia, and Notre Dame for the USC game.

"I like traveling," Fragel said. "Gives me a chance to catch up with my dad on the long drives, and I like to see all the campuses and get a feel for them before my senior year."

It's early, but Fragel lists his favorites in no particular order as Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa and Purdue.

"Academics is definitely the first priority, and overall team prestige and the campus life," Fragel said of what he is looking for in a school. "Just the overall environment and seeing what I can get from the school."

Fragel knows what he can get from Notre Dame. He and his team participated in the seven-on-seven tournament in South Bend last summer, and will do so again this year. Fragel was the only tight end at the elite camp, so he got plenty of one-on-one time with assistant coach Bernie Parmalee.

"He was a great guy," Fragel said. "He has a bunch of different philosophies at the tight end position. He likes to have a more agile tight end, get right by the guy, quick moves rather than getting tied up with the defender. He really taught me a lot with footwork and hand moves."

The Irish campus stays equally impressive every time Fragel steps foot on it.

"It just feels really warm," he said. "A really open type campus. I didn't feel lost like I have at a ton of other campuses while I've been there. It was a great feeling."

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