Gabe Angel made his first trip to Notre Dame on Saturday and the 2016 Tennessee athlete came away very impressed and intends to return.
“We got there and went to the Gug, the athletic facility,” said the 6-foot-3, 220-pounder from Wilson Central High School in Lebanon, Tenn.
“We got to tour the facility, of course that was my first time being there, so we got to see all of that. We got to go to the locker room and weight room and things like that. Then we got to go on the Walk to the Stadium. Then we followed the players into the Stadium and stayed down on the field until game time, when we went up to the stands.”
Angel, who has visited several SEC schools, was impressed with the facilities in South Bend.
“I liked it,” Angel said of the Gug. “It was very well put together. It’s a nice complex. It was very impressive.
“I would say it’s probably better than some of the other schools I’ve been to. It probably ranks up there with Tennessee and Alabama.”
Angel also enjoyed walking through throngs of fans from the Gug to Notre Dame Stadium.
“I was in the front, so it was pretty neat,” he said. “All of the people were saying, ‘Go to Notre Dame.’ It was fun listening to the comments.”
The weather wasn’t the best, but the atmosphere inside the Stadium was top-notch, according to Angel.
“The atmosphere was awesome,” he said. “Being my first game, I didn’t know what to expect, but I really liked it. The cold weather was freezing, but besides that, it was pretty good.
“The fans were definitely into the game.”
The 2016 prospect already holds offers from Mississippi State, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
“It’s a blessing to have five SEC offers as a sophomore,” he said. “You wouldn’t think of being so young and having these opportunities, but you take it as a blessing from God and try to do the best you can.”
Angel could play a variety of positions at the next level, but didn’t spend much time trying to figure out how he’d fit in with the Irish.
“I just wanted to watch the game and take it in because I haven’t really talked to the coaches much,” he said. “I really don’t know where they would want me to play, so I just took in the game day experience.
“It was a close game. I didn’t know which way it was going to go, but Notre Dame made that big stop on fourth down.”
Angel did have the opportunity to speak with a couple Irish coaches prior to the game.
“I talked with Coach (Chuck) Martin, the offensive coordinator, and Coach (Bob) Elliott, the safeties coach,” said Angel. “I liked Coach Martin a lot. He just told me he was glad I was up there and he hopes we keep in touch and I’ll be back there soon.”
Angel’s blend of size, speed and athleticism has caught the attention of college coaches. He’s played running back most of his life, but doesn’t have a preference of position at the next level and could also play receiver or tight end.
The Irish made enough of an impression to become players in Angel’s recruitment and says he’ll “definitely” get back to South Bend.
“Notre Dame, I really liked it, so I’ll probably keep in touch with Notre Dame from here on out. I may be up there this summer for a camp or something like that.”