Notre Dame's win on Saturday night over Arizona State at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas was a huge victory for the Irish's 2013 season, especially with a bye week coming up before kicking off the second half of the season with a home game against rival USC.
But it was also a major victory because of the unique recruiting opportunity offered by the off-site nature of the Shamrock Series, which was even enhanced by playing in the fertile Dallas recruiting area.
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly was at the Bishop Dunne High School game on Friday night to check out 2014 defensive back prospects Nick Watkins and Payton Hendrix while assistant Kerry Cooks was at South Oak Cliff to see several prospects.
On Saturday night, dozens of Irish prospects were given tickets to the game by Notre Dame, but with any direct contact prohibited by NCAA rules, the only thing the Irish could control was their play on the field. All of the recruits seemed to have been impressed with the atmosphere and energy in the building, but the win also left many of them a positive feeling of the Notre Dame.
We've already heard from several of the recruits who were at the game, including elite 2015 running back Soso Jamaboa, big-time defensive tackle Daylon Mack, who received an offer from Notre Dame earlier in the week and many more.
"Awesome experience," Jamaboa said. "Had an amazing time with friends getting to talk with some fans around the stadium and cheer for the Irish."
Mack added, "I had a great time and I enjoyed the game very much. The Notre Dame fans were awesome and great to talk to."
West Mesquite receiver Akilian Butler paid close attention to the Irish offense and liked what he saw.
"What stood out was how they used, #7 (TJ Jones) in their offense," he said. "I liked the way they used him and how their team kept fighting on to the end, how they never gave up on themselves, they kept passing for the game and they kept their enthusiasm all of the way through the fourth quarter."
Louisiana tight end Michael Dunman was also watching the Irish offense close and was impressed with the play of Troy Niklas.
"He was blocking, he was running routes and I really liked the way they used the tight end," said Dunman. "It was really exciting."