Offered Prospects Invade ND

Notre Dame had a distinguished recruiting guest list on campus for Saturday's Blue-Gold game, capping off spring football.

Five-star running back Cierre Wood and defensive tackle Tyler Stockton verbally committed to head coach Charlie Weis before the game. Four-star defensive end Anthony LaLota scooped up a scholarship offer from Weis. Check their profiles for updates about how their visits went.

Irish Eyes also caught up with Devonte Holloman, E.J. Banks, Alex Bullard, Craig Roh, D.J. Adams and Jordan Barrett. All hold scholarship offers from Notre Dame, and were experiencing the campus for the first time.

***Devonte Holloman

The four-star safety from Independence High in Charlotte, N.C., visited Michigan on Friday, and got into South Bend on Saturday at 9 a.m. He was with his defensive backs coach, and a teammate.

His thoughts on the trip to ND "It was pretty good. I got to see some of the facilities and meet a lot of the coaches. That was exciting. We got there about nine o'clock and started out with (defensive coordinator Corwin) Brown. There were a couple guys there when I got there, but not many. I ended up playing video games with Cierre Wood for a bit. He was telling me everything he liked about Notre Dame. I asked a couple questions. I feel like he gave me the truth. He said it was a fun place. It's not what people think it is for a Catholic school. They are a close-nit family when you're away from home, you feel that there. Everyone around is pretty close he said, and he felt the coaches would take good care of him."

On meeting Corwin Brown: "He was pretty cool. He told me a little about what he'd like to do with me, things like that, and he even let me call the third play, which was a safety blitz. He asked me do I like to blitz? I said yeah. He said I could call a blitz on any play of the first series. I said the third play. The offense kind of jumped offside and they got scared. But he was going to run it."

On meeting Charlie Weis: "I got to talk to him after the warm-ups when the team came in the locker room. We called my parents on speakerphone. He told us what kind of kids he likes to go after and that the qualities I've shown, I'm the kind of kid he likes. He told my parents to come up with a few questions and call this week because we were running out of time. So I'll call coach Brown this week with any questions they had. Coach Brown is planning on making a trip here Tuesday and the week after that, so I'll be seeing him pretty soon."

On the fans asking him for autographs: "Yeah surprisingly. I was just walking by and someone comes up and knows my name. Another guy called a play off my highlight tape. I was like wow, how did you know that? I enjoyed that."

Could he see himself at ND: "Yes. The fan base is awesome. Coach Brown is awesome. Coach Weis is a nice guy but I don't want to make any decisions yet. It was nice to see Notre Dame and everything it had to offer, and they are definitely under consideration.

On his trip to Michigan: "It was awesome. There coaches are fiery. There weight lifting coach is a particularly fiery guy, and I think they're going to bring that success from West Virginia to Michigan."

Final statements about the trip to ND: "The signing autographs, that was the biggest surprise. The game, I ended up rooting for the defense at the end of the game. And meeting coach Weis. While we were on the phone with my parents, he tossed me his Super Bowl ring and let me hold it and look at that."

Holloman has 15 scholarship offers. When will he start narrowing things down?: "During the summer or right before the season. I'd say during the summer."

***Alex Bullard

The three-star offensive lineman from Brentwood, Tenn., picked up his 16th scholarship offer from Weis and Notre Dame on Saturday. Bullard was offered by Michigan on Friday, and Florida earlier in the week. He made the trip to South Bend with his father Louis, a former NFL offensive tackle himself.

On his offer: "I just went and talked to coach Weis. When I was talking to him he offered me a scholarship. He just said if I'm interested then they're interested. When I told them I was interested in their school, he offered me. I'm really excited about it. It's always been a college I've been interested in, so it was exciting to get the offer."

On his first-ever trip to ND: "I really liked it. It was a great environment. They are very unique in their way of doing things. I didn't know their population was only 8,000. It was very different in a good way. Their support here, everyone seemed like one big happy family here.

On the trip itinerary: "I got up, and got to spend some time with (offensive line) coach (John) Latina. I talked with him about the school in general and their expectations, and the way they do things at Notre Dame. I talked to coach Weis and then we went to the game. The game was a good thing. I always enjoy watching football, but seeing Notre Dame football up close like that was a really neat thing. I loved the campus. I like how everything isn't too small or too big. Everything is in a 15-minute range. I got to see a dorm. A student was kind of enough to show me the area. It was really good."

Could he see himself at ND?: "I'm keeping it open right now, but it's definitely a school I'll be interested in. I can see myself at a lot of places, I just have to get more information about the schools and make my decision later on down the road."

On his father's take: "He loved it. He really enjoyed himself. He always wanted to come and visit Notre Dame, and the same with me. He really liked the way they do things, and we're really on the same page with Notre Dame."

On the ND coaches visiting him: "Coach Haywood is going to come down on Tuesday to my school, he'll be down on Tuesday and coach Latina said he is going to come see me practice in May."

A final summary of the trip: "The fans were great. All the coaches were really nice. I got a chance to talk to Golden Tate. He is a Tennessean. I knew him from when he played football down here, so I got to catch up with him and that was really good. We just talked in general. He told me how great the place was."

***D.J. Adams

The standout running back from Norcross, Ga., flew into Chicago with his father on Friday. They stayed with an uncle, and three of them drove into South Bend on Saturday morning, arriving around 9 a.m.

On the visit: "Man it went good. It was real nice. It was real nice. Just the atmosphere was crazy. All the autographs and that stuff, it was pretty cool."

On the day: "Wow man. When we first got there, we had a meeting with my recruiting coach, coach (Jon) Tenuta. We had a nice long talk with him. We talked with coach Haywood and we got a chance to talk with the academic person. We got a good feel for everything. They were real informative. Then I had a 20-25 minute conversation with coach Weis.

On the talk with Weis: "It went good. It was like our phone conversation. He was real funny, joked a lot but it was also informative. He was giving me the run down of what was going on with the program and giving me just overall advice about picking a school to go to. Not just speaking for Notre Dame, he was speaking for everyone about what to look for, and to be careful. A real down to earth guy."

On his talk with coach Haywood: "We were just talking about the academics parts of the school too. We were having random conversation, since we were there early, we were just blowing time. Actually, Ryan Grant, he came and sat with me and coach Haywood and talked with him for awhile.

Adams got Grant's autograph. "He has a job now!" Adams said laughing.

On Grant and Haywood telling Adams why they chose ND: "They were telling me about the tradition of Notre Dame and the overall program. When it is all said and done, when football is over, to have a degree from Notre Dame is door opening itself. That was one of the main reasons why they came."

On the facilities: "Oh man, they're real cool. Actually, I'm going back (Sunday) morning to get a more personal tour. They were top of the line. Weight room, all that, top of the line. that's the best I've seen. I've been on visits and that's the best I've seen."

Random quote: "I was with C. Wood most of the day. I was there when he committed. We weren't talking about the commit too much. Just casual talking.

Could he see himself at ND: "I could. I was thinking about that. I could see myself there.

On narrowing down schools: "I've begun to start. I haven't made a list, of a top list, but I know who I don't want and there are several I don't want. That's a step in the right direction for me. I've passed away the ones I don't want. Notre Dame is not one of those. They are on the top of the list, well up there on the list.

On the ND coaches visiting him: "Coach Haywood is coming on May 13. I believe coach Tenuta is coming to my spring practice the week after next, so I believe he is coming on Wednesday or Thursday of that week."

***E.J. Banks

The three-star safety from McKees Rocks, Pa. arrived in South Bend Friday night with his parents and sister.

On the trip: "It was real good."

On the trip itinerary: "We went to the Gug and from there I talked to coach Weis, and from there we went to lunch, and from there went to the game."

On his talk with coach Weis: "He was just letting me know that he was putting everything out on the table. That he has three areas he recruits kids, character, school, and football. You have to be a good person, you have to be good in school and you have to be a good football player. I knew he was going to be a straight-forward guy, so I knew what to expect."

On what position he'll play: "He said corner or safety."

On meeting Corwin Brown: "He's a cool guy. I liked him a lot. It was just how he was talking to me about the game, and how he was telling me we are going to teach you how to play corner. We're going to coach you up. We know you're a good athlete so you should do good here. He told me he was going to coach me up from the basics and get my form down."

On meeting the other recruits in attendance "I met with some of them. I saw David Posluszny up there, I know him from around my area. I met and talked with people but not for long, it was chit chat."

On the campus: "It was nice. I liked it a lot."

Could he see himself at ND?: "Yeah I could see myself at Notre Dame, no doubt. It was just coach Weis. How he explained everything. He said, just think of this, if you were never to play football ever again in your life where would you want to go. I just got to thinking."

When will he narrow down a list of favorites: "After I'm done visiting, so I can look at everyone. Before I came to Notre Dame, I didn't know too much about them, I would've never known. So, I have to do all my visiting before I narrow it down."

More on the visit: "It was just a typical visit. We met with the advisors for education."

On his parents thoughts: "They liked it a lot. They liked how coach Weis was saying everything about education. That's what my parents want. They tell me I have to have something to fall back on."

Coach Latina told Banks he would visit him not this week, but the following week.

***Craig Roh

The three-star defensive end made the trip to Notre Dame this weekend with his father. They arrived on Friday from Scottsdale, Ariz.

Fred Roh (father) on the trip: "Good visit. We went to the Blue-Gold game. The weather got nice which was nice, and we actually came in (Friday) and spent some time getting tours through the campus and spent the morning talking to Jappy Oliver, going over tape, talking to Charlie Weis and getting a tour of facilities. It was a great visit."

Craig Roh on the trip: "It's going good. I just really, really enjoyed the campus, really enjoyed the campus. It was just a good visit. You could feel the tradition, really like seeping through the walls. There is just a lot of tradition there and you could feel it."

On his talk with coach Weis: "He was really talking about why Notre Dame is the best school to go to. He feels it's a good fit."

On his talk with coach Oliver while watching film: "We just pretty much talked about the defensive schemes and stuff. That was pretty much it. We talked about the recruiting process and everything. He was a pretty cool dude."

On meeting the other recruits in attendance: "I got to meet (Tyler Stockton) and (Anthony LaLota) from New Jersey, and I got their phone numbers. And the d-tackle just committed. I was talking to them, and I'm going to text him about why he likes Notre Dame and get the low down."

On if he could see himself at Notre Dame: "It's a definite possibility but I still have to look at more colleges just to see what's available."

Roh has 30 offers. What's next?: "I have one trip scheduled for UCLA next Thursday, and then during the summer me and my family go up to Michigan for vacation, so we'll probably visit Michigan and check out the local schools, and the California schools. I'll possibly come back to Notre Dame on my family vacation."

On the ND fans: "I signed some autographs. That was pretty much the first time I've done that. I took pictures with a lot of kids. It was amazing. It's crazy."

***Jordan Barrett

The three-star linebacker from Sherman Oaks, Calif., made the trip with prep teammates and 2008 Irish signees, Anthony McDonald and Dayne Crist.

Barrett said that he is having a lot of fun getting to talk with the coaches and meet some of the players who are in Anthony and Dayne's class.

Stay tuned, as Irish Eyes will catch up with Barrett again for more on his trip, as well as verbal commit Jake Golic, who was also in town.


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