First-Time Recruit

As Notre Dame's junior day visitors were taking a tour of the locker room, former Notre Dame defensive tackle Pat Kuntz was milling around.

Kuntz asked, "any Hoosiers in here?"

Blake Lueders and his father raised their hands.

"He asked where I was from, and I told him Zionsville," Lueders said. "He started to laugh.

"I told him we were actually playing Roncalli in basketball tonight. He said we were going down."

The 6-foot-5, 245-pound Lueders admits he's more of a football player than a basketball player, but the Zionsville High standout had a few rebounds and put-backs in Zionsville's five-point victory over Kuntz's old high school.

"Thankfully we ended up beating them," Lueders stated.

Lueders, who is mostly being recruited as a defensive end, is also thankful to have nine scholarship offers at this point. He has been offered by Wake Forest, Boston College, Indiana, Iowa, Northwestern, North Carolina, Purdue, Stanford and Vanderbilt. He's hearing from several other programs, and would like to add at least one more offer from Notre Dame.

In the past, Lueders has attended several Irish football games, but at Saturday's junior day, it was his first time on Notre Dame's campus as an actual football recruit.

"It was nice," Lueders said. He made the trip with his father. "I was really impressed. Top-notch facilities, and impressive coaches and obviously great tradition.

"Hearing coach (Charlie) Weis speak, and the athletic director speak, I thought they both gave impressive speeches. The tour was nice, they have very impressive facilities, the weight room was great."

With his basketball game in the evening, Lueders only got to spend a few hours on the South Bend campus. He did get some one-on-one time with his recruiter Bernie Parmalee, Notre Dame's recruiting coordinator Rob Ianello, and defensive coordinator Corwin Brown.

"They got my film and I think they've seen it," Lueders began. "I think they're interested, but they haven't talked about offering yet. I know they're interested, because they wouldn't of invited me to junior day if they weren't."

Lueders would like to make his college decision before the summer. Following Notre Dame's junior day, he went to Indiana's the next day. He plans on going to North Carolina for a spring practice.

In the meantime, he'll wait to hear from the Notre Dame coaching staff.

"They said they wanted to keep in contact." Lueders said. Top Stories