Looking For More

Notre Dame has been showing Everett Benyard some interest. Irish assistant coach Brian Polian has dropped by Cathedral Catholic High in San Diego to see the big 6-foot-7, 320-pound offensive tackle, and his teammate Tyler Gaffney. The mail from South Bend has been regular, and Benyard has visited the campus twice.

Everett Benyard also knows he has his work cut out for himself, if he is going to turn that interest into a scholarship offer.

"They're interested in me (at right tackle), and they said they're only giving out four scholarships for offensive linemen, so it's going to be hard," Benyard said of what was explained to him at Notre Dame's junior day last Sunday. "I have to work my butt off and try and get one of those."

Benyard has been offered by Utah. Besides Notre Dame, he has also been receiving interest from Arizona State, UCLA, Oregon and hometown San Diego State.

This past weekend, Benyard caught up with both Irish offensive line coach John Latina and Polian, who he also keeps in touch with through email.

"They said I really need to work on, number one, keeping my grades straight, getting my books," Benyard said. He has a 2.8 GPA. "They said keep getting stronger and stay in the weight room, work on my agilities and my flexibility."

This past fall, Benyard didn't allow a sack in helping lead Cathedral Catholic to a CIF-San Diego Section D-III title. He was named first-team all-Eastern League.

"I would say my aggressiveness, my love for the game, and I'd also say my motor as far as always having a running motor," Benyard said of what colleges say they like about him. "Basically just trying to dominate the person that's in front of me."

Benyard doesn't know how, but for as long as he can remember, he's always been a fan of Notre Dame and Michigan. He has yet to visit Ann Arbor, but saw the Irish campus for the first time last season at the Duke game.

"Oh man, I was amazed," Benyard said with awe. "As soon as I stepped on campus or even in South Bend, I was like look at this, I'm here. I was amazed. I really liked it.

"I really love the campus. The game was nice because all the fans were into it, the stadium is real big, it was packed, that field, it was a crazy environment. I loved it.

"At junior day, I got to take a more in-depth tour of the campus, meet some of the recruits, the competition I guess, get more a feel of what the academics are like, get to talk more with the players that are there."

Benyard would really like to see himself as one of those players already at Notre Dame.

"I like that school a lot," Benyard said. "I think it's a really good place, where if I go there I will be set up for life. I will be learning the things I need to know to be successful for the rest of my life. They really stress graduation too, which is one of my number one priorities, which is graduating from college."

Benyard can bench press 295 pounds, squat 330 pounds, and runs the 40-yard dash in 5.4 seconds. As he left Notre Dame's junior day, Polian gave him a little message.

"He said he'll be in touch."

And Benyard will be "working his butt off."

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