"My mom earlier in the process knew I was going to Notre Dame, so I didn't want to make my mom a liar," the defensive tackle from The Hun School in Princeton, N.J. said. "So did my little sister Blake. She is a soccer player, she might want to come here too. She is 15."
Tyler Stockton made it official on Saturday, giving Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis a verbal commitment. The 6-foot-1, 280-pound Stockton became the third player to pledge Irish in the 2009 recruiting class, joining five-star running back Cierre Wood, who committed earlier that day, and tight end Jake Golic.
In South Bend for the fourth time, Stockton arrived with his father, and prep teammate Anthony LaLota and his dad. Before the Blue-Gold game, Stockton told Weis his intentions, while LaLota picked up an Irish scholarship offer.
"I don't think even he knew I was going to do it," Stockton said of his father. LaLota was surprised as well. "My whole family knew this was my dream school, but I don't think they knew it was going to happen today.
"I just got there, I just realized this school is the perfect fit for me. If my football career ends at Notre Dame, I know I'll have a degree that can get me a job anywhere and I'll be successful. It was my third or fourth time being on campus. I've met the coaching staff before. It was the best fit for me."
Stockton will add much needed depth along the Notre Dame defensive line. In helping lead The Hun to a 9-0 record and a league championship, Stockton had racked up 73 tackles, 26 of those coming for loss including 11 sacks. He also forced four fumbles, recovered three more, batted three passes and blocked a kick.
Stockton held over 17 scholarship offers.
"Notre Dame, it's a first-class institution," Stockton stated. "The academic part I really liked, as well as football. That is what I was really looking for in a school. It gives me the best of both worlds.
"I was signing autographs. The fans are the best in the nation. These fans really like their football. That's what I like. They will support you during the ups and downs, they're going to be there.
"I knew it was the best fit for me. I was excited to make the call."
Now Stockton sets his sights on getting people to jump on ship with him, beginning with LaLota.
Stockton will return this summer for a camp, and will also take in a football game this upcoming season on an official visit.