An "Amazing" Official

When Notre Dame sophomore kicker Brandon Walker missed on his 31-yard field goal attempt during Saturday's game against Purdue, Nicholas Tausch was definitely not one of the many people inside the stadium showering the struggling Irish special teams unit with boos.

Nicholas Tausch felt bad for his future teammate, who has made just one-of-five field goal attempts this season.

"He just missed it from a foot or something from my view," Tausch said. The Dallas, Texas product was in South Bend for the weekend with his father on an official visit. "It makes me more, I can't wait for next year, because I'll be competing for that kick. I just can't wait for next year.

"It's going to be fun."

So was the Irish verbal commit's trip.

Tausch's Jesuit College Prep teammates had a bye week, allowing the 6-foot-1, 180-pound kicker to take in a full weekend of Notre Dame's game festivities. On Friday he attended a special teams meeting and the team walk thru before the pep rally. He also met with a professor from the Mendoza College of Business, and had dinner at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse with Irish assistant coaches Corwin Brown, Mike Haywood and Brian Polian.

On Saturday, Tausch had breakfast with head coach Charlie Weis, met with strength and conditioning coach Ruben Mendoza, had lunch and watched the Irish football team walk from mass to the stadium. Then it was game time, a 38-21 victory over Purdue, followed by the celebration in the locker room after the game. Tausch then went to dinner and hung out with teammates.

"It was amazing," Tausch said of his second-ever visit to Notre Dame. He was hosted by Dayne Crist and Deion Walker. "I really liked it a lot. I thought it was one of the best games I've ever been to."

Taush has also been to games at Texas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech.

"I just liked pretty much everything leading up to the game. I thought one of the coolest things I saw was the walk. Just being there, I don't know how many people were there, but it seemed like 30 or 40,000 people waiting for the team to walk by. I liked it.

"I'm sitting on the field in pre-game watching them warm-up and seeing all the fans, I just thought it was really cool.

Tausch also especially enjoyed learning from Polian in the special teams meeting, and the pep rally.

"That was a cool experience to see what that was like with all the fans," he said.

Tausch got plenty of time to chat with Weis.

"He asked me what I thought about the game, we talked about the game," Tausch recapped. "We talked about what I saw, how was the atmosphere and everything, because he said that's what its like every game whether they're playing an undefeated team or a one-win team. We talked about how the fans were amazing and we talked about how it was with the walk and everything. And we talked about how Dayne and Deion were treating me.

"And he asked me how I liked it and I said I loved it, it's really great."

Tausch also met one-on-one with Rob Ianello and Polian.

"Coach Ianello, we just talked about how he's going to come visit me during their bye week, and make a trip to my school and meet some of my teammates. Get a feel for what it's like at my school when I actually have school and not the summer, and how he's going to keep in touch with me once a week and keep me in the loop on things important with Notre Dame.

"With coach Polian, it was the same thing about how he's going to keep in touch with me," Tausch continued. "He told me to continue to keep working hard because he said his goal for me is to kick the opening kickoff of the 2009 season, and we'll go from there."

That's definitely Tausch's goal as well.

So far this season, Tausch has booted 11-of-15 kickoffs for touchbacks. He is 2-for-4 on field goal attempts, with a long of 39 yards.

Tausch also spent a lot of time with recruit Shaquelle Evans. The four-star receiver from Inglewood, Calif., was making his first-ever trip to Notre Dame, and was also hosted by Crist and Walker.

"He seemed like a real quiet guy at the beginning. As we got closer to game day and everything, and the couple days I was with him, the more we got talking, the more comfortable he was talking. We talked about school, football, academics, and I was just getting to know him, because he might commit to us. He seemed like a great guy and a cool relaxed person.

"One specific moment I remember, I think it was when we scored to take the lead 21-14, the crowd got him up and started doing pushups. I asked him, Shaq what do you think of that? And he said that was one of the coolest things he's experienced. He also really liked the Notre Dame atmosphere and that the fans were really into the game and they're passionate about their team."


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