First Game Experience

Tyler Stockton has been to Notre Dame several times, but never had the pleasure of taking in a home game.

This past weekend, Tyler Stockton got a taste of the next four to five years of his life.

On an official visit with his parents and little sister, who happens to be a Notre Dame soccer recruit, Stockton was in the seats for the Irish's 36-33 quadruple overtime loss to Pittsburgh.

"It was crazy," Stockton stated.

"The fans, I loved the fans after they scored. Everyone was doing pushups, throwing people in the air. My sister loved it, my whole family loved it.

"I knew it was going to be loud, but I didn't know all these chants and everything. It was definitely interesting. Definitely had a great time. I got into after awhile. At first I was watching the game, but after a while I felt like a fan, part of the student section going nuts."

In January, the four-star defensive tackle from Princeton, N.J. will officially be a part of the student body. Stockton and fellow Irish verbal commits E.J. Banks and Zeke Motta will enroll early to Notre Dame, arriving for the spring semester in January.

"I only have one more marching period here at Hun," Stockton said. "I can't believe it. We get off in December. It's going to come up faster than expected."

Stockton keeps in regular touch with both of his future roommates, and last Saturday, he got to hang out with Banks during the game.

Before all of the football festivities on that Saturday, Stockton met with several academic advisors, as he prepares for his early enrollment. Then he made it over to the stadium. During pregame, he was down on the field watching warm-ups, and then made it up to his seats.

After the game, Stockton caught up with his host, freshman defensive tackle Hafis Williams, and the two hung out all night.

"He's a good kid," Stockton said. "He's real funny, I enjoyed it."

Stockton will cap his prep football career as a U.S. Army All-American. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to play in the final three games of his senior season at The Hun, because of a partial tear in his meniscus.

"We tried to get an extra game because we only had eight games, but that fell through," Stockton explained. "I was a little bummed out because I knew I'd be able to play this weekend."

Before leaving South Bend on Sunday, Stockton had breakfast with the coaching staff and caught up with head coach Charlie Weis.

"We just talked about the game," Stockton said. "We just talked about everything. He showed us his knee that was all banged up. I'm just excited to come there in January.

"He said I need to be ready to work hard."


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