Hendrix: "He's going to do some great things"

Andrew Hendrix from Moeller High School (Cincinnati, Ohio) is one of two quarterbacks committed to Notre Dame's 2010 recruiting class, but over the past several weeks there were questions about how solid Hendrix was with his commitment. Mark him down as solid.

Like many of the Notre Dame commitments, Andrew Hendrix (6-foot-3, 220-pounds) was eager to sit down and talk to Brian Kelly about his plans for the Notre Dame football program. When Andrew walked into Kelly's office just over a week ago, he had question about where he fit into Kelly's plans. When he walked out those questions had been answered.

"Everything went great," Hendrix said of his first meeting with Notre Dame's new head coach. "He's going to do some great things for Notre Dame. They needed someone to come in that was going to be enthusiastic, great with the media, and get people fired up about the football program again. He has a lot of offense in him, but he was a defensive guy before that, so I think he'll bring all the pieces together and I think Notre Dame will be the program that everyone wants it to be again."

Watching the Irish struggle during the 2009 season was difficult for Hendrix, a situation made worse when he realized the coach he had intended to play for wasn't going to be at Notre Dame. Uncertainty about the direction of the program did creep into Andrew's mind, but one meeting with Brian Kelly made him assured him that Notre Dame was the place he wanted to be.

"During this whole thing I was working with coach Weis and then he was fired," Hendrix said. "I was entertaining some schools, but coach Kelly solidified everything and I'm happy with my commitment with Notre Dame.

"Florida was the only school that I really entertained, so to speak. There were other schools that tried (to recruit me), but at that point Florida was the only school I considered looking at. I don't know how much I really considered them. I really just wanted to make sure I just wasn't left out in the dust. The school I was committed to didn't have a coach and I didn't know where the offense was going to go. There's a cliché that says, ‘You never pick a school based on its coach.' That isn't always true though, because you have to pick a school where you get along with the coaching staff, they have a system that fits you and you have to make sure you can deal with them for the next four or five years. After visiting coach Kelly, I think I've found that.

"We didn't' get into specifics (about the offense)," Andrew said. "He just told me that when I got on campus there would be further evaluations. We'd just take things for there. If we had two great tight ends, we'll go two tight ends. If we have a phenomenal Heisman Trophy running back, we'd get him the touches. I think the main thing is that he'd focus on the players that he has and not the schemes that he runs."

Kelly ran a wide open offense at Cincinnati, and that likely won't change at Notre Dame, but Hendrix has a different skill set than the quarterbacks Kelly used in his spread offense at UC. Although those differences are apparent to Andrew, he's certain Kelly will put him in a position to succeed.

"I'm very confident in that," Hendrix said of Kelly's ability to adapt to his scheme to his players. "When Tony Pike was in, a 6-foot-6 throwing quarterback, they threw for 350 yards per game. When Pike went down, they went to a shorter quarterback, Zach Collaros. When he was in there they ran for 250 yards a game. It wasn't the scheme. He didn't make Zach Collaros throw for as many yards as Tony Pike did, he just changed the scheme for the players that he had and that's why he went undefeated this year."

"(Kelly's offense) definitely gives you a chance to throw the ball around a little bit and that's something that' I'm looking forward to. My high school had a phenomenal running game and we pounded the ball a lot because we could. If you can pound the ball, you don't need to throw the ball a lot. That didn't bother me, but I'm looking forward to showing off my arm a little bit more in coach Kelly's offense.

"I think I'm a deceptively a good runner. It may not look like that, but I like to tuck it and run it sometimes. I know I'll need to get a little bigger and faster, but I think that I can do some zones reads that fit into coach Kelly's offense."

IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories