"I think I picked up a couple pointers from (defensive line) coach (Jappy) Oliver, him pointing out things during drills," Anthony LaLota explained. It was the 6-foot-6, 260-pound defensive end's second-ever trip to the Irish campus. He scooped up his Notre Dame scholarship offer when he visited for the spring game in April. "I'm always trying to learn things and add them to my game."
Oliver is hoping that eventually those pointers come back full-circle to Notre Dame.
LaLota arrived in South Bend on Sunday with his The Hun School teammate and Irish verbal commit Tyler Stockton. Having to sift through scholarship offers from the likes of Florida, Florida State, Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Rutgers, Virginia Tech and several other programs, LaLota was able to give Notre Dame an in-depth look the last couple days.
"It went really well," LaLota stated. He arrived back home Tuesday afternoon, while Stockton stayed in South Bend another day. "I think it was a good experience. I talked to a lot of the coaches."
On Sunday, LaLota and Stockton checked into their hotel before heading over to campus.
"I hung out with Duval (Kamara), Golden Tate and Mike Ragone and Carlo Calabrese. I hung out with Carlo a lot. We just hung out in the dorms, and we just went out to eat with Carlo and his parents, and Jake Golic and his dad."
LaLota added that meeting Mike Golic Sr., of Mike and Mike in the morning on ESPN, was "pretty cool."
While Golic Sr. didn't give LaLota any recruiting pitches, all the current Irish players and commits made it no secret they want to see LaLota on campus as a Notre Dame student and football player next summer.
"They were trying to tell me how much they want me to be there," LaLota said. "They were trying to let me know how much they like playing for the coaches there. I was asking them a lot of questions about the school and how they like it, and I thought I got some pretty positive responses. The guys were pretty cool on the team."
On Monday, LaLota headed over to the practice fields for camp.
"Coach Oliver was working me out with Tyler, working on technique and some pass rushing drills," LaLota explained. Last season he had 40 tackles and 10 sacks in helping The Hun win a league championship. "It was fun."
LaLota later got extended one-on-one time with head coach Charlie Weis.
"I thought it was good," LaLota said. "He was trying to explain to me how valuable a degree from Notre Dame is when you graduate. And he said he is trying to bring the team back to prominence, and soon they should be back at the top of college football.
"One question I asked him was how he sees me fitting in to their defense. He said he thought I could come in and compete for a spot right away."
Defensive coordinator Corwin Brown told LaLota the same thing.
"He was talking about how he likes to mix up their defenses a lot, and confuse the offense. He said they're going to bring a lot more pressure with blitzing, and he looks for guys that are more versatile, and he thought I could do a lot of different things for him."
While LaLota was getting the recruiting pitch hot and heavy at Notre Dame, Stockton is around him everyday. On top of that, Stockton has emerged as the best recruiter in the Irish's current class.
"He talks about it a lot, but he knows it's going to be my decision," LaLota said. "He's trying to give me encouragement, and says he really wants to play with me in college. I appreciate it."
Did LaLota get that feeling while he was on Notre Dame's campus?
"I could see myself being there, but I could see myself at other places so it's going to take a little bit of time to find out the best fit for me."
LaLota thinks he's going to Penn State on July 10th. Other than that, he's not sure where his travels will take him next.