Utupo Is All ND

Notre Dame fans won't need to worry about which school Justin Utupo will fax his National Letter of Intent to next week. The defensive end from Lakewood High School (Calif.) has had a chance to get to know the new Notre Dame coaching staff and there's no doubt that he'll be a part of the 2010 Notre Dame recruiting class.

There had been some questions about whether Justin Utupo would end up at Notre Dame when rumors started circulating that he'd be checking ot other schools, but according to Justin, that scenario really never materialized.

"I'm solid on my decision," Utupo said of his commitment to Notre Dame. "On signing day it will be Notre Dame for sure, no surprises…I'm 100 percent Notre Dame. I had my visit with coach Kelly. We met with my parents. I really like him. Coach Denbrock came with him, and then coach Denbrock came back with coach Diaco and coach Cooks.

"I guess I'm going to be playing one of the outside linebacker positions now. I was excited, because it's the ‘3-4'. It sounds like I'll line up on the line of scrimmage like a defensive end, and I'll rush from the outside when I rush. The only difference will be my drops ,when I need to drop into coverage. I'm not worried about the difficulty or the things I have to learn, because I was pretty much doing that at defensive end. I'm excited about it."

Utupo didn't reach out to other schools during the coaching transition at Notre Dame, but he did have several schools contact him.

"Earlier in the process when the coaching change came, me and my parents talked and just wanted to have a backup plan in case something happened," Justin explained. "Then coach Kelly came in and there wasn't anything for me to worry about. I didn't even take any visits. The only coach I met with was coach Kiffin from USC. There was a rumor that they were going to offer me, but after we talked, he said that it sounded like I was solid with Notre Dame. I told him I was and that was it. Arizona, and UCLA were the only other schools I really talked to."

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