The First of September To Be Big Day

While working out at Notre Dame's football camp last week, Christian Lombard got an extra incentive to perform better.

Irish head coach Charlie Weis pulled up near the offensive line group on his golf cart to particularly watch the class of 2010 tackle prospect.

"That kind of caught my eye," Christian Lombard said. It was his second time on Notre Dame's campus. He was a special sophomore invitee to a junior day back in February. "When I saw him, I was like I have to step it up now. Charlie Weis is watching."

Weis liked what he saw, and later told the 6-foot-5, 280-pound Palatine, Ill., product exactly what he thought at lunch.

"He told me they're going to be recruiting me very hard, and September first will be a good day for me," Lombard explained. That date is the first day programs can officially send in written scholarship offers to prospects. "They said straight up, they're going to be recruiting me hard and they really like what I do."

So does Iowa and Michigan. Both programs gave him verbal offers after Lombard did his thing at their respective camps. Lombard wanted to keep private the specifics of his conversation with the Notre Dame staff and where they stand on verbal offers.

Lombard is hearing from the whole Big Ten, and Arizona has also been coming on strong. Irish assistant coach Rob Ianello told Lombard he has an invitation to every Notre Dame home game next season.

"They have amazing facilities," Lombard stated. "Phenomenal academics. I like that the coaches, they're really close with their team. I was there when the incoming freshmen were there, and I got to see a little of what they have to go through. I got to sit in the recruiting lounge, and its an awesome environment, and I really enjoy it up there."

This past season was Lombard's first on varsity at Fremd High School. From his right tackle spot, he didn't allow a sack and helped pave the way for a 1,200-yard rusher.

"(Recruiters) have been telling me I can play anywhere except for center, but either right tackle or left most likely."

Lombard expects to make it back to South Bend for a game this fall, and soon hopes to set up a recruiting game plan with his folks.

"I'm starting to get my feet wet in all this," Lombard said. "We haven't sat down yet, but it's something I want to do, just to go over all the options, and talk about researching all these schools and options I have, and how to make the best choice and decision for me."

Lombard, who has a 3.0 GPA, says he tries to call Ianello once per week. Beside the great news from Weis, his camp experience was a great one.

"We worked with (offensive line) coach (John) Latina the whole time," Lombard said. "Intense drills. We did some one-on-ones. It was a good experience to measure myself against the other guys there. It was one of the harder camps I've been to, and it was really good to work with coach Latina. He really knows what he's doing."

On the football field, it sounds like Lombard does too.


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