Notre Dame's football team will report to campus in a couple weeks, and running back Theo Riddick is nearly packed and ready to go.
"I'm just getting ready to go to Notre Dame," the 5-foot-10, 200-pound running back responded when asked about his summer. "I'm focusing on lifting and running. We just graduated so I don't have the extra curriculum and activities to slow me down. I'm just totally stoked to go up there and play. I hope I can help out the team, and I'm just looking forward to arriving on campus. Everything is going smooth right now, I'm definitely excited.
"I've been staying in touch with Tyler Stockton. He reported up there in January and I stay in touch with him from time to time. I've asked him all the normal questions about everything, because he's there and he's already been with the team, so he's been helping me out a lot.
Riddick understands that Notre Dame hasn't performed up to it's potential the past several seasons, but he believes change is on it's way.
"It's a team game, and we're on the hot seat," Riddick explained. "We know we have to perform well, but I don't find that scary, because that's just what we do. That's our job and that's what we do best, and I think it's going to be a different year for us. I know people have heard that a thousands times, but we've had top five recruiting classes so we've been getting the recruits, so I think we're going to turn it up a notch this year.
"We all know that we've been struggling a little bit, but as a football player you want to make an impact. I think we all have the desire and I think that will help us gel as a team. We all have that common goal and that's to get Notre Dame back to where it's always been…at the top. In fact, I can tell you that I know that we all have that common goal.
"I think the unknown for me is, how waking up and going through the double sessions will work out," he said. "It doesn't scare me, but it's keeping the balance academically and playing sports; that's always been a challenge, but I'm looking forward to it.
Notre Dame isn't for every athlete. But when Theo thinks back to the recruiting process, he's even happier now with his decision to attend Notre Dame.
"I made my decision quite early," theo recalled. "Recruiting was a stressful deal. I visited Notre Dame, Maryland, Pitt and West Virginia. I loved the Notre Dame campus. Hafis Williams gave me a tour, and I just loved it. It's something I can't explain. I went to other campuses and I liked them, but I never, ever came close to loving those campuses like Notre Dame. I loved my teammates and the coaching staff. The support you have behind you at Notre Dame is phenomenal.
"You can't go wrong with Notre Dame. I'm not looking back and I'm100 percent on board and I love my decision. I could have gone to other places, but Notre Dame has the "ring" to it. When you think about Notre Dame you think about the tradition and all the alumni that are behind the school and support the school.
Since Riddick's commitment, Mike Heywood moved to a head coaching position and Charlie Weis tabbed Tony Alford as the new running backs coach.
"I've actually met with him twice," Riddick said of Alford. "He's a good guy. He said that it's an open competition. If I work hard enough and do what I need to do and I can help out the team, then I'm going to play. But what he said that caught my attention is, there are no promises. There are no guaranteed spots. You go out everyday and compete for playing time. That's what I like most; he didn't already have his mind made up."