Offensive tackle is a priority for the Notre Dame coaching staff and Arie Kouandjio (6-foot-5, 310-pounds) impressed the Irish coaching staff enough to receive a scholarship offer last week.
"I met coach Ron Powlus about three weeks ago and he's been staying in contact since then," Kouandjio responded when asked about Notre Dame interest in him. "He had been on the road, so he hadn't had a chance to watch my highlight tape, but they apparently had a meeting recently and watched it. He said that they were really excited about me, so he said that they wanted to offer me a scholarship.
"When [Powlus] was on the phone he handed it to coach Verducci. Coach Weis wasn't in the office, but they said as soon as he gets back that he wanted to talk to me. They just wanted to hurry up and get the offer out to me."
Kouandjio knows a little about the Notre Dame program, but he'll try to become more familiar with the Irish over the summer.
"I've heard things about Notre Dame," he explained. "A couple of teachers from my school went to Notre Dame, so they always talk about it. I haven't really done much homework on any colleges, because I'm focusing on next season. Right now I'm just running and working out. Over the summer I'll start looking into all these colleges and even more so after my football season next year.
"I was excited when I heard that [Notre Dame] wanted to offer me because it means that someone else wants me on their team. It means so much to me to know that so many people want me. Even though it's going to be a hard decision, I'm lucky that I'll have to make this decision. Towards the beginning of school I'll start making my cuts."
With schools from around the country taking a look at Kouandjio, the Irish will need to make a strong impression on him in order to get Arie on campus.
"I have around 33 offers," he said. "It sounds like I'm at the top of most coach's board for my position. All of them are recruiting me to play left tackle. The ones that I'm talking to most are LSU, Alabama and Cal. I talk to Boston College and I've started to talk to Michigan a lot.
"I've seen California, Maryland, UConn, North Carolina and Penn State. They're all pretty good schools and I like the coaching staff's from all those schools, which is a big deal to me. Right now I'm open. I'll go to the school that best fits me. I want to go to a school that I'll get a good degree and one that will give me an opportunity to play on Sundays."