The first and primary objective of Notre Dame’s game with Arizona State in Arlington, Texas was to secure a victory. The second objective was to make a recruiting splash in Texas. The Irish achieved success on both objectives, defeating ASU 37-34 in a thrilling game and also impressing a number of Texas recruits, mostly juniors. Immediately after the game, Irish Sports Daily caught up with a number of recruits. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Sports Daily?
Tony James, ATH, 5-10, 155, Bowie High School, Arlington, TX attended the Notre Dame-Arizona State game on Saturday and came away impressed. In fact, James (pictured) made no secret of the fact that the Irish made a significant impact.
“I was really excited when I got there because I hadn’t been to too many college games so far,” said James. “Notre Dame really exceeded my expectations and I was really pleased by what I saw. It was really a great game and I really liked what Notre Dame did out there.”
James’ recruitment has taken off recently, but the Texas athlete is much less concerned about himself than his team.
“I’m a team player,” James simply stated. “No matter where the coach puts me on the field, I’m always going to give it my all. It doesn’t matter whether I play wide receiver, quarterback or any other position because I do whatever I have to do to help my team win.”
“You’ll never ever see me talking about myself or thinking I’m better than others because I’m here for the team, not necessarily for personal gain. I just love football, so I’m always going to do the best I can and try to lead by example.”
Currently James only holds one scholarship offer but has been receiving interest from a number of other schools. One of those schools is Notre Dame.
“I would say I’ve gotten about ten or fifteen letters from them already,” James said. “I really don’t know a lot about Notre Dame just yet, but I had the chance to go see them this weekend and I was really impressed.”
The Irish have been somewhat low-key in their recruitment of James thus far but they are beginning to make an impact. After impressing the Texas native with everything from their uniforms to their play on the field, James is ready to take his Notre Dame recruitment to the next level.
“This really raised my interest level in Notre Dame and I can’t wait to start developing relationships with the coaches,” he said. “I’m ready to get to know them better and I want them to get to know me more also. I just want to get up there sometime, so I can see everything they have to offer , but all I can do right now is to keep playing hard and hopefully I’ll get that offer from them and we can go from there.”
Chason Virgil, QB, 6-2, 175, West Mesquite High School, Mesquite, TX wanted to experience a big game college atmosphere. Saturday, he got his wish at AT&T Stadium when he watched Notre Dame play Arizona State in the Shamrock Series game.
“It was really the first big college game that I’ve go to see,” explained Virgil. “It was a great experience to see the fans, see how the college games are and how lively they are. What stood out to me the most had to be the crowd and the noise of the game. I’ve always dreamed of playing in front of a big crowd like that and to be part of a big crowd like that and to see how those guys handle it; it was amazing.”
Virgil attended the game with his teammate and fellow 2015 recruit Akilian Butler. Both Texas standouts kept a close watch on the Irish offense.
“They do some things similar to what we do at West Mesquite,” Virgil stated. “I like the offense a lot. It’s a good system.”
Like Notre Dame fans, Virgil discerned a big difference between the Irish under Tommy Rees this year versus the offense under Everett Golson last year. The West Mesquite quarterback followed Notre Dame’s championship run last year so he had some basis for comparison. He sees himself as a combination of the two signal callers.
“I just think what they did last year with Golson was more designed runs with Golson,” Virgil observed. “They made more of the run plays read option types so the running backs weren’t getting keyed on as much because Golson was running the ball as well, so they had to key on two people.”
Virgil currently holds scholarship offers from Texas, Nebraska, Clemson, UCLA and Arizona State among others. He could also see himself in a Notre Dame uniform and believes he would be more of a Golson-type player than like Rees though not a clone of Golson.
“I think I can run like Golson,” he opined. “I am more of a pass first guy. I think it would be like Golson, but I would probably say it would be in the middle because I like to pass a lot too.”
Like James, Virgil is eager to get to know the Notre Dame coaching staff better.
“They sent me a contact list to get in touch with them,” he said. “I really like them as a program. I think they have a good program there at Notre Dame. I’m going to try to get in touch with the coaches and keep in touch with them as I’m going through my recruiting process.”
These two summaries represent just a sample of the Notre Dame football recruiting information available each week on Irish Sports Daily.