Rettig Takes Red-Eye To Notre Dame

Chase Rettig was ready for a breakout junior season.

Unfortunately, things haven't gone the way the class-of-2010 quarterback planned.

As a sophomore, Chase Rettig took over the starting duties at Pasadena (Calif.) La Salle, and threw for 2,500 yards and 25 touchdowns. He helped lead the Lancers to a league championship and the second round of the state playoffs, where Cierre Wood and Santa Clara ended up being too much.

But the 6-foot-3, 205-pound signal-caller thought he'd be right back the next season. However, 10 injuries on the offensive side of the ball has been damaging to Rettig and La Salle's season, and they are 1-7 on the campaign.

"I'm kind of out there thinking if I leave everything on the field, it's a win in my book, and I can control myself and keep making all those passes and make all those reads, and even if players aren't making plays, I'm still making progress," Rettig explained. "Don't get angry with the players. I can make them better by playing better myself."

Despite La Salle's struggles, Rettig has still caught the eye of many college recruiters. Every program in the Pac 10 is recruiting Rettig, and Notre Dame has jumped into the mix as well.

Rettig has impressed these schools with his arm strength, but he's also done a lot of running this season as well. Rettig has thrown for 1,180 yards with 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, and rushed for a team-high 376 yards and three more scores.

Irish offensive coordinator Mike Haywood made it out to Rettig's school a couple weeks ago, and the signal-caller returned the favor this past weekend. Rettig, his dad and brother made the trip to South Bend for Notre Dame's game against Pittsburgh. It was Rettig's first time on campus.

"It was an amazing experience," Rettig stated.

Rettig works out with renowned quarterback coach Steve Clarkson, who also mentored current Irish players Jimmy Clausen, Dayne Crist and Nate Montana. Rettig knows Crist and Montana pretty well.

"I figured if they're all liking the experience, I should see it for myself," Rettig said.

Following his game last Friday night, Rettig took a red-eye flight to Chicago, and drove the rest of the way to South Bend. He made his way over to the Guglielmino Athletics Complex to tour the facilities, watch a couple Notre Dame highlight tapes, and eat lunch and schmooze with the other recruits.

"The weight room was pretty awesome, and the 40-yard turf practice field inside was real nice," Rettig said.

Rettig also got to see the locker room the players use before practice.

"I saw Jimmy Clausen's locker, that was pretty tight."

From there, Rettig watched the Irish players make their way from the Basilica to the stadium. He then went inside Notre Dame Stadium himself for pregame.

"That was pretty tight," Rettig began. "From there we went out to our seats, we had really nice seats, right where the overtimes took place. We watched the whole game and then after the game we got to walk off the field with the team. After all the media got through with the team, we got to go through the locker room.

"I'm pretty good friends with Dayne Crist and Nate Montana, so I got to talk to them for awhile, and I talked to some of the coaches, coach (Ron) Powlus, coach (Brian) Polian and coach (Rob) Ianello."

Polian told Rettig he will be out to his school to see him in December.

"They just kind of showed they're really interested and kind of serious about recruiting me."

Rettig, who has a 3.4 weighted GPA, is completely open with the recruiting process, and is waiting on his first offer. He has been to games at USC, UCLA and California, and will check out an Arizona game in a couple weeks.

Notre Dame definitely made an impression on him.

"I enjoyed the college atmosphere," Rettig said. "The students always got involved, and how everyone gets into it for game days. I've been to other colleges for games, and the stadium isn't even filled up.

"The game in itself was awesome," Rettig continued. The Irish lost 36-33 to Pittsburgh in quadruple overtime. "Obviously they didn't get the favorable outcome they were looking for, but seeing how the players pushed hard and tried to win, and how the crowd got behind them. And the coaches are great people, real nice to the players, making sure they get all their stuff done and are taken care of.

"They also made an impression on academics. If you leave Notre Dame with a degree and don't make it to the NFL, you'll have opportunities after you graduate."

Rettig got a full tour of Notre Dame's campus on Sunday. He hopes to make a college decision before his senior season, if he has all the offers he wants.

From there, Rettig is looking to have a much more positive, senior campaign. Top Stories