"The best place for me"

Chris Badger was expecting to have a great official visit to Notre Dame last weekend, and the safety from Timpview High School (Provo, Utah) wasn't disappointed.

Chris Badger (6-foot-1, 190-pounds) made his first and last visit to Notre Dame stadium as a fan for awhile. The Notre Dame commitment enjoyed his official visit and is looking forward to being a part of the Irish football program.

"It was a great experience," Badger responded when asked about his official visit. "It was a lot different than coming in the summer when it's a lot quieter. It was good to see the gameday experience and to see how many people were there. The fans are so great. I got to go to the pep rally and experience that. My mom came with us this time and she had a blast and definitely thinks this is the best place for me.

"I just love the history and the tradition. You see the stadium on TV, but just being there and having fun was a great experience. ‘The walk' was kind of fun as well. We got to step in right behind the players. A lot of fans recognized me and a couple of other guys, so that was kind of cool.

"Chris Watt was my host," he said. "I don't know a lot of people from Chicago, but he such a great kid. He's very similar to me. We definitely had a great time when we went out. He's a good guy. I met Manti Te'o again. I had met him this summer, but this time I got to hang out with him little more. I met Robby (Parris), Tyler Stockton and a bunch of others. I got along with everyone there, and I can see being friends with for a very long time. I thought I got along with everybody better than I thought I would. Meeting everybody was probably one of the best parts of the trip."

Although the Notre Dame dropped a heartbreaker to the USC Trojans, Badger was pleased with the effort of the Irish.

"The game was awesome, but it's too bad we lost," Badger said. "It was fun seeing the team fight so hard. I think a lot of teams would have given up in the fourth quarter. They came back and almost had it at the end. It would have been exciting, and it probably would have been a better party had they won, but I still had a great experience and the loss didn't diminish from my experience at all. I'm just excited to come in and beat USC next year, and be a part of that.

"The defense hasn't been playing as well as I think they know they should, and as well as they know that they can. I'm not there at practice everyday, but I think they have a lot of potential, and I think they could be good. They just need to do the little things better. Little things win big games, like tackling and trusting yourself to make a big play. I'm just going to come in, work hard and do everything I can do to help the defense next year. They showed that they can make the big play when they need to do it, now it's just a matter of being consistent."

Next year will come fairly quickly for Chris. He'll be graduating early and enrolling at Notre Dame in January.

"The coaches were busy preparing for the game on Saturday, but I got to meet with them all Sunday," Badger said. "I had a meeting with coach Weis and coach Brown. We mostly talked about coming in January and just trying to get ready for that. We caught up on a bunch of things really.

"It's going to come really fast now. It's only a couple months away and I'll be on campus taking classes. I can't wait to get that gold helmet for the first time and try it on."

IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories