Shembo Excited About the Challenge

Prince Shembo from Ardrey Kelly High School (Charlotte, N.C.) knew early in the recruiting process that he wanted to go to Notre Dame. Despite uncertainty along the way with a coaching change, Shembo remains happy with his chosen path.

Prince Shembo has been working hard to get ready for his arrival at Notre Dame in a couple weeks. The linebacker has been following the workout program that he received from strength and conditioning coach, Paul Longo in order to be in position to reach his lofty goals.

"You have to set some milestones and you have to take one step at a time," Shembo said. "No. 1, I want to compete for a starting spot. If I do start, I want to make big plays. I want to be one of those freshmen that comes in and plays right away. You have to set your goals high and you'll reach them if you put in the work.

"I love the weight room, so I want to hold some records in the weight room. Work hard, become a workout warrior and a great player on the field. Just find a starting spot. If not, get some playing time on the field. Play hard, make big plays and beat USC. I want to open a lot of eyes.

"What‘s the point of playing the game if you're not willing to work hard and compete," he said "You have to be able to go out there and play. You have to want to compete. You don't want it to always be easy, because it takes the fun out of the game. You want to be able to make a lot of plays, have challenges in your way and overcome them. That shows the type of person and player that you are.

"I'm very excited. I can't go in scared. It's not like high school where the offensive linemen are smaller than you or the same size. This is college and the guys are bigger, so you have to have your technique down, so you have to step up the plate face the challenges and overcome them."

Toward the end of the 2009 season, when rumors started to swirl about Charlie Weis being relieved of his duties as Notre Dames head coach, a number of schools started checking into Shembo's commitment to Notre Dame. Once that happened, rumors started circulating that Shembo was looking to open up his recruitment. For a short period of time, he did consider it, but in the end he knew where Notre Dame was where he wanted to be.

"To be honest, I wanted to look around at the time," Shembo said. "When coaches find out that your coach is leaving they make it harder. And when the coach actually gets fired they make it harder. They come to your school and tell you that they know what going on at Notre Dame and you're not going to have a coach. We were thinking about taking some other visits. Miami and Stanford were two of the schools that we were thinking about visiting.

"I really didn't know what was going on, but when I talked to coach Kelly, he helped a lot. It was hard not having a coach. Things were going to change and it's wasn't the same coaches that were recruited me to Notre Dame and it might not be the same system you were recruited to play in. At the same time, I think coach Kelly's ‘3-4' system actually benefits me. My specialty is pass rushing, being a ‘3-4' outside linebacker and dropping back is really fun.

Honestly I think I changed. When you do your first interview you're nervous. I can remember back n high school, I didn't know anything about recruiting. I just thought I'd go play college football. I started maturing and seeing what's going on.

"I'm very happy with my decision. I think I knew pretty early on where I'd end up going and I think my parents did too. I'll get a great education and then I'm playing at Notre Dame with all the tradition. Everyone will be able to watch me play on TV every Saturday. It's probably going to be pretty weird being far away from home, but that's part of growing up. I knew where I wanted to be, so you have to make some sacrifices. All I want to do is accomplish my goals and make everyone proud."


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