September 1 was the start of the recruiting contact period and the Notre Dame coaching staff didn't waste any time contacting Anthony Barr (6-foot-4, 225-pounds).
"I actually just talked to coach Weis on the phone," Barr replied when asked about his contact with the Notre Dame coaching staff. "It was the first time they were allowed to call people. We talked a little bit and just were catching up. We've all been pretty busy the last couple weeks. We both want to start playing, it's been awhile and we just want to get back out there. They're real excited about the season and they said that their guys are ready. They said that they're just ready to get out there and play again."
Like a number of Notre Dame's top recruiting targets, Barr is interested in seeing if the Irish can improve on their 2008 season.
"I think it's pretty important (for them to play well)," he said. "Their schedule isn't super difficult, but I think if they're real competitive and you can see them giving their all that they're a team that I'd want to play for. I want to play for a competitive team and one that competes for the national championship.
"I have a top five and they're right up there. They're definitely in the running. I think they're a good program. They have real potential for the upcoming year, and I'm excited to watch them play. The more I stay in contact with the coaches and watch them, it will help my decision in the future."
Besides Notre Dame, Barr is considering UCLA, Cal, USC and Michigan. Like most recruits, his official visit will play a major role iin his decision.
"I think I fit well with all those programs," Barr explained. "I don't have a favorite among them, all five schools have an equally fair shot and I'm looking forward to coming down to my final decision. I plan on taking all five of my trips. I'm trying to get them done by the end of my season, but I know that's probably not the most realistic goal, but that's my goal.
"The thing I'm going to be looking for most is my comfort level and how I fit in. I want to see how comfortable I am with the players and coaches. I think that's going to be a huge part of my decision. I know the school I that I go to, I have to be comfortable with it for four years. If I'm going to be there that long, I want to have a place that feels like home.
"I've taken trips to USC and UCLA because they're so close," Anthony said. "I've been able to watch both teams practice. I like the energy and their excitement level. I think both teams are going to have a pretty good year.
"I just have a good feeling about Cal, I think that they're going to have a pretty good year. I've been talking to the running backs coach there and we're pretty close and I think I'd fit in there well. I haven't been up there, but I'm looking forward to taking a trip up there so I can get a better feel for the school and learn more about it.
"I don't know a whole lot about Michigan, but I also think it's a place that I could fit in well.
"With Notre Dame, it's all my family ties and I've been in contact with them for such a long time that I could definitely see myself going there" Barr said. "Notre Dame is the only visit that I've scheduled. I'm going to be there for the Washington game. I think I have a bye week, so I think it'll be the easiest week for me to get out there without missing too much time with my team."