And that realization came before Holecek ever saw Chance Carter in a high school uniform.
"When we thought he was driving his little brother to school and he was 14," Holecek laughed.
"In eighth grade he was a man child. He's always been a big athletic kid. It's not hard to pick him out of a lineup."
After seeing Chance Carter in person at its football camp in early July, Notre Dame feels the same way as Holecek does about the 6-foot-4, 235-pound defensive end from Wilmette, Ill. Last week, the Irish became the first program to extend a scholarship offer.
"I was very ecstatic," Carter stated. He is also hearing from most of the Big Ten conference, and has already been selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American game in 2010. "It was a great feeling knowing all my hard work has paid off. Really big for me. I was really excited.
"It's top notch," Carter continued about Notre Dame. "One of the best schools in the country. Their prestige and academics, and the football is amazing. The facilities are great. Everything about the school is wonderful."
As a sophomore, Carter racked up 33 solos and 31 assists, including five tackles for loss.
"He's very active," Holecek said. "Has a good body to develop, long arms, long legs, big butt. Uses his hands well and is a competitor."
Carter worked out for Irish defensive line coach Jappy Oliver at camp.
"Coach Oliver, the defensive line coach, told me he likes the way I move," Carter explained. "He likes my skill set, and all he had to do was see me on film and they'd get in touch with me after they meet for the last time before they go on vacation."
Notre Dame assistant coach Rob Ianello was the one that got in touch, and soon Carter was holding his verbal offer. The written scholarship offer will be faxed over to the school on September 1st, where Carter will get a chance to speak with Irish head coach Charlie Weis about it.
Carter was also in South Bend for a February junior day, and has gotten an opportunity to talk with Weis before.
"One of the best offensive minds in football," Carter stated. He has a 91 percent grade average. "Very good coach, and has good experience in the NFL which is a very good plus because he knows the highest level of football. It's great to know your coach has coached at the highest level of football."
Carter has also visited Illinois, but the campus was under heavy construction then. He thinks very highly about Notre Dame early in the process.
"My favorite by far is Notre Dame because I've been down there the most and I love everything about it," Carter said.
"I'm not going to rush it yet," he said of a decision. "Coach Holecek wants me to commit right now, but I don't want to rush it too quickly."