Notre Dame fans swarmed the field to celebrate what they thought was an upset victory over top-ranked Southern California. On the other side of the field, watching the whole thing transpire, was Southeast High School defensive lineman Gerald McCoy.
Saturday, McCoy was on a recruiting visit to South Bend., Ind. And he got caught up in the drama.
"I ran onto the field with the rest of them," said McCoy, who is being recruited by both Notre Dame and USC, among others. "I wasn't cheering for either team. I was cheering just to cheer. I wanted to be a part of it."
He and the rest of fans were ordered off the field. Southern Cal had time for one more play. McCoy and the rest of the 80,795 fans in attendance watched as quarterback Matt Leinart stumbled backward into the end zone with three seconds remaining to give USC a 34-31 win.
"It went from super loud to totally silent really quick," McCoy said. "Every one was in shock."
That was the highlight of McCoy's visit to Notre Dame. The 6-foot-3, 305-pounder is one of the best players in the country, according to recruiting services. McCoy, LaRon Moore of Midwest City and Northeast's George West, who has orally committed to Notre Dame, were in attendance to see one of the most anticipated college games of the year.
"The crowd was crazy," McCoy said. "You couldn't hear anything the person right next to you was saying. I have never been in an atmosphere like that."
South Bend was one of many stops McCoy will make in the next few months.
Notre Dame left an impression, though.
McCoy began the visit by a ride from the airport to the campus in a car filled with goodies.
"The Lincoln was all stretched out," McCoy said. "There was a lot of candy and pop. I have never been chauffeured around before."
While walking from the Notre Dame football complex to the stadium, some fans started chanting McCoy's name. Kids asked for his autograph.
"Everyone knew who I was," McCoy said. "That was real surprising.
"It was a great experience, but it hasn't changed anything." I am still looking at a lot of places. I'm sure other places will be like this. But it helped to know what I am looking for in other recruiting trips. I can compare it to other places."
Needless to say, Butch had a great time at the SC-Notre Dame game.
"Man, the game was amazing. That was probably the best game I have ever seen."
On whether or not his visit elevated Notre Dame.
"I would say it elevated my knowlege of what Notre Dame is like. I got see what the campus is like, what their tradition is like and met the players. They are real close, like a brotherhood."
On Coach Weis: After a chuckle he replied...
"He's real outspoken. Other than that he's a good guy."
"They are recruiting me real hard. Coach Franklin is a real down to earth and humble guy."
Butch said he's looking forward to his trip to SC more than before because of what he experienced and saw in South Bend.
His next trip is to Georgia Nov. 12 He visits SC Dec. 2.
He has a grandfather who lives in Georgia and he's very close to him. I believe they are the favorite at this point. However, his interest in SC has grown a lot over the past 3 months.