Anthony LaLota and his high school teammate Tyler Stockton are receiving recruiting interest and drawing offers from some of the top college football programs in the country. One of the schools Stockton talks about is Notre Dame, and how much he likes the campus and the school. LaLota has never visited.
That will change for the 6-foot-6, 260-pound four-star defensive end out of Princeton, N.J. this weekend.
LaLota and his father will join Stockton, who has camped at Notre Dame a couple times, and his dad on a flight headed for South Bend on Friday. They will leave for home on Sunday.
"We've talked about them a few times," LaLota said of Notre Dame. He is up to 20 scholarship offers from the likes of LSU, Penn State, Rutgers, Stanford and Virginia. "I know that he has been offered and is very interested in them. I just want to go out there and see myself for the first time, and hopefully everything will be alright.
"I just want to get a feel for how the team plays and the kind of defense they run. Get a feel for the atmosphere and talk to the coaches and hear what they have to say."
LaLota would like head coach Charlie Weis to say, we're offering you a scholarship to the University of Notre Dame.
"That's what I'm hoping," LaLota said. "I'm going out there to see how everything is, and hopefully that happens."
This past season was LaLota's first playing football. Before the fall, he was strictly a basketball player. In helping The Hun School go 9-0 and win a league title, LaLota had 40 tackles, 10 sacks and two forced fumbles. College recruiters quickly found him. Notre Dame defensive coordinator Corwin Brown catches up with LaLota from time to time.
"He talks about football a lot," LaLota said. "He seems like an excitable kind of guy, real energetic. We just talk mostly about football.
"My coaches have spoken to their coaches a couple times, and they're very interested so we'll just see what happens this weekend."
This spring, LaLota has been to Rutgers and Virginia a couple of times, and flew down to Florida. He'd like to make a college decision before his senior season, but has yet to trim a list of favorites.
"I'm still evaluating things because it's early on," LaLota said. "I'm still looking at every school that looks at me.