Springmann Follows Dream

Tony Springmann from Dwenger High School (Ft. Wayne, Ind.) received his scholarship offer from Notre Dame last week, and today he verbally committed to Brian Kelly and his staff. Springmann is the sixth verbal commitment the Irish have received for their 2011 recruiting class.

Like many little kids growing up in Northern Indiana, Tony Springmann (6-foot-7, 265-pounds) would dream of some day playing football for Notre Dame. Today he took a big step toward realizing that dream when he committed to Brian Kelly and the Notre Dame coaching staff.

"The best way to describe it is that it's a dream come true," Springmann said. "I was a big fan during the Julius Jones era. I just remember running around the backyard pretending I was one those players, but you never thought that you'd be good enough to play at that level or to ever put on the gold helmet. Now that I'm getting older and maturing and I have the ability to play at that level, that I'll be playing for the University of Notre Dame.

Although Springmann was a big Irish fan he did want to make a decision based on his future.

"It did a little bit," Springmann responded when asked if his dream of playing at Notre Dame played into his decision. "I wanted to get to know who I was going to play for. I wanted to get to know them. I didn't want to walk into it blindly and make a decision based on the emotions of a childhood dream. I wanted to get to know the coaches and how they work. At the junior day they explained everything very thoroughly. They're in your face, they're very efficient, and they're very enthusiastic about what they do, so I was excited about playing for coaches like that. You want to play for coaches that are more hands-on. It makes you a better player, and it makes the team better.

"All the schools that I looked at have great academics and have football programs that are on the upswing or are already there. When you compare Notre Dame to Texas, Florida, and Alabama, that's where Notre Dame once was. With the new coaching staff, Notre Dame is back on that track. First of all, I want to be part of that. Secondly, I've been going to Notre Dame games all my life and you really don't feel the atmosphere anywhere else but Notre Dame. When yo think about Notre Dame, you automatically think about football, you think about the gold helmets, all the tradition and the great names that have played there and will continue to play there. It's almost overwhelming knowing that I'll be part of that."

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