Alex Welch (6-foot-5 225-pounds) had seen Kyle Rudolph go through the recruiting process and he had hoped that he would have similar results. While Alex didn't receive his first offer until early this year, he's excited about his results.
"I didn't have any scholarship offers during the football season and then through the whole basketball season I didn't get any scholarship offers," Welch said of his recruitment. "Then in the middle of February North Carolina State offered me my first scholarship. Then I got two the next week. After that it seemed like I'd get one about every week. It was kind of overwhelming and exciting."
And as his offer list grew the more top programs decided to get in the mix. With offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Florida State, Boston College, North Carolina, Wisconsin and others waiting on Welch, he was waiting to here something from Notre Dame. That call came on Thursday.
"Coach Tenuta called my coach and told coach Ramsey that they wanted to offer me a scholarship," Welch described. "I spoke with coach Weis for a few minutes after I worked out after school. He said that they have been delaying offering another tight end, because they have six tight ends on scholarship, and they weren't sure if they wanted to offer another tight end. Coach Tenuta said that they watched my tape this morning and decided that they did want to offer me a scholarship. I think it was just a numbers game in terms of how many guys they had on scholarship.
"We didn't really have that much contact before the offer. I went on a visit for the Stanford game. I was getting a few letters here and there, but nothing too hard. Then about two weeks ago, coach Tenuta came to my school. He told me where I stood with them and how they were approaching all of it. He actually told me then that he didn't think they could offer me, and I understood. He said that he was going to work on it and see what he could do. Then he called today and offered me a scholarship. I'm pretty excited."
Notre Dame will have some work to do on the recruiting trail in order to land Welch, but with his former teammate already in South Bend, it will make Charlie Weis' job a little easier.
"They're definitely a school that I'm considering," Welch said. "Growing up, that's always a school that you followed and a school that I could see myself at. I always watched Notre Dame on TV. I know a lot about Notre Dame. I've talked with Kyle Rudolph, so I pretty much know everything.
"I've been to Wisconsin. I really enjoyed that. I like the way they use their tight ends. That's definitely appealing to me. I went to North Carolina and went to Wake Forest, N.C. State and North Carolina. I'm pretty sure that I'm going to fly out and see Oklahoma. Ohio State hasn't offered, but they've been showing pretty strong interest. We'll see what happens there. I've been to Michigan twice and Michigan State once. I've been to Cincinnati a couple times. I talk to Boston College fairly often.
"I'm still open right now," Welch explained. "I need some time to think about everything. I'll probably narrow my list down soon. We'll go from there and try to keep narrowing it down. I need to get out of school and get away from all of the hype right now. And really think about the decision that's going to affect me for the rest of my life; where I'm going to be for the next four or five years.
"I'll definitely make my decision before the season. If I get a feeling some time in the summer that I know where I want to be, I'll commit. I really don't have a firm timeframe, but you never know. Anything can happen, but I want to commit before the season."