Equals No More

Coming into Notre Dame's junior day on Saturday, Chance Carter was favoring the Irish, Wisconsin and Stanford.

By Saturday night, those three schools were not equal any longer.

"I think they set themselves apart on this trip from Wisconsin and Stanford," Chance Carter said of Notre Dame.

So much so, that the 6-foot-4, 235-pound defensive end from Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Ill., thought about just ending the recruiting process while in South Bend.

"I did, but then again, I have to take one more trip to the West Coast," Carter explained. "That's when I'll make my decision."

Carter plans on visiting Stanford in late February, with a verbal commitment to a lucky school coming soon after.

Obviously, Notre Dame has to like its position.

Carter was making his third trip to Notre Dame's campus this past weekend. He camped during the summer and also attended the Michigan game during the fall. On this visit, Carter learned a lot more about the school.

"I just really took everything in, not just the football aspect of it," Carter said of junior day. "Just everything else about the school like the campus, the students and the academics of the school, and the history of the school. How it got started, who founded it, and it almost wasn't a school because the administration building got burnt down and the guy who founded the school built it up again."

Carter came with his mother and brother. It was his mom's second time at Notre Dame.

"She loves it too. She loves that it's close to home."

When Carter arrived, the Notre Dame coaching staff made sure he got some one-on-one time with Irish head coach Charlie Weis.

"It was good," Carter stated. "He was real honest on what he thought about me. He said he really wanted me and needed me and they're recruiting me hard, because they were only going to get one or a couple defensive linemen in this class, and next year they're going to need more than just a couple, and he wants me to kick that off."

Since Notre Dame currently doesn't have a defensive line coach, all front-seven players at the Irish junior day went with assistant coach Jon Tenuta.

"It was good," Carter stated. "Coach Tenuta, the way he thinks about defense, and how he wants to play, is perfect. He said he doesn't want the quarterback to ever be able to set his feet. He wants to confuse the offensive line, and he always wants to bring pressure from somewhere, and wreak havoc."

Carter's junior day experience was capped off by the Notre Dame-Connecticut basketball game.

"It was a great game," Carter said of the Irish's 69-61 loss. "I was sad they couldn't pull it off. I really thought they'd keep the winning streak going at home. The student section was very amped up from the comments made by (Hasheem) Thabeet in ESPN magazine, and it looked like Luke Harangody was fired up for the game, and really took it to Hasheem."

Carter has been taking it to opposing offenses the past two seasons. After registering 64 tackles his sophomore season, Carter recorded 22 solo tackles, 20 assists, 8 tackles for loss, four quarterback hurries, three pass deflections and one interception this past fall.

Besides his three favorites, Indiana has also offered a scholarship.

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