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It almost didn't happen

<P>Texas punter Geoffrey Price has had a whirlwind recruiting experience. He committed early in the process to Texas but once given the opportunity, Price decided to follow his dream to play for Notre Dame. The term "Notre Dame kid" is used a lot but Price certainly fits the mold. </P>

Price understands Rudy. He understands what it's like to be a kid with dreams and goals. "I guess my fascination with Notre Dame started roughly around the third grade and it hasn't stopped. I think I devoted all my efforts in my schoolwork to go there and I never really thought of playing football there and that is just kind of an added bonus right now. I thought it was never going to happen."

Price did the work in the classroom with a 4.1 on a 4.0 scale. He also scored a 26 on his A.C.T. He attended Notre Dame camp the last two years and he really thought he had a chance at a scholarship. "I had written a letter to Coach Willingham telling him how much I wanted to go there. Coach Mattison came down and watched my film and he invited me to camp. I went to their camp and I guess I did pretty well. I left camp with them telling me I was their number one choice. Coach Mattison kept calling me after that but I later found out that they didn't think they were going to be able to scholarship a punter. Texas came along and they offered so I took the Texas commitment and started to fall in love with Texas."

Price thought that was it, he was heading to Texas. He thought he was done with recruiting and his decision was final. He didn't have any idea what was about to happen. "All the sudden, Notre Dame came back into the picture. They found out the final word on a couple of injuries and were able to offer two extra football scholarships. I knew then that I would be interested."

Price said when he took the visit, he was pretty sure he would commit. "It was going to take something major to happen for me to not want to attend Notre Dame. Just making that long drive in off the interstate and seeing the golden dome just above the trees did it. When you meet Coach Willingham, wow! Words can't explain; he is one fine human being. All that hear about him is true and all the players love him."

Price didn't quite have the season punting he would have liked. "I play free safety also and about four days before our first game, I had to jump over this pile and when I came down, my ankle gave out and I had a high ankle sprain. For the first four games, my foot was taped and I had those soft braces and an air cast. I couldn't move my foot at all. After about the 5th game, I was still punting with an air cast on my punting foot so I couldn't point my foot and keep it flat to get that nice contact point you need to punt. It really hindered me."

Price is happy just to be able to live a dream. He should be in the hunt for the starting punter spot for the Irish next fall and he gets to attend the University he has always wanted to. Hopefully he will have the same type of career as former Texas native and Notre Dame punter Hunter Smith. "Hunter Smith is a pretty cool guy. I got his autograph when I was little. He signed my poster."

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