Second Impression Better Than the First

Eilar Hardy recently made his second unofficial visit to Notre Dame. The standout defensive back from Pickerington High School (Pickerington, Ohio) had some doubts about the school heading into his visit, but those were all erased by the time he left campus.

Eilar Hardy (6-foot-0, 170-pounds) made his first visit to Notre Dame in March for a junior day. He enjoyed his visit, but he didn't quite feel the connection that he was hoping to find. After seeing Notre Dame for a second time last week, Hardy left South Bend with the Notre Dame as one of his top schools.

"I had a great time down there," Hardy said. "My dad and I went down there on Friday and then left on Saturday. It was a good little deal. When I got up there the weather wasn't too great, because there was a storm going on, but I had a great time.

"I spent some time with the players on Friday. We hung out a little bit. Saturday I took a tour around the whole campus with coach Hinton, coach Martin and one of the students that helps with the football team. I got to see some things that I didn't see the first time I was up there. I got to see some things that I really liked. I had a good time."

It's difficult for a school to personalize tours for individual recruits during a junior day, so a school may miss an opportunity to show specific aspects of the campus that a recruit is hoping to see. Notre Dame missed on with Hardy on his first visit, but hit the mark on his return trip.

"One of the main things that I was looking for was getting a better feel for the campus," Hardy explained. "Seeing what I didn't see before and what I didn't get a good feel for when I was up there the first time.

"I also wanted to see what the players thought about the school, the campus, and how they liked the football program and how they liked the academic part. Getting to hang out with the players up there was probably the biggest thing for me. That's another thing that my parents and the coaches were talking about; Me being comfortable being up there, being comfortable going to school up there, being comfortable on campus and just being a student up there. Being with the players gave me a good feel for what it would be like there.

"Friday night I got a chance to hang out with a bunch of players and I think I fit in perfectly," he said. "The guys were great guys, and I interacted with them perfectly. As soon as I got there we were talking about everything and just having fun. I had a lot of fun with them. Being able to hang out with them and getting an idea of how they feel about the campus and about Notre Dame did it for me and changed the way I felt about Notre Dame from the first time I went up there. They taught me a lot… it was great."


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