When John Callahan took over as head coach of the Detroit Loyola football program four years ago, a total of four colleges stopped by the school for recruiting purposes.
Callahan has since built the program up and has already had close to 100 schools check in with him about a few of his underclassman prospects.
This week, Callahan and a few of his best players had the opportunity to visit Notre Dame.
“I think all three of them had a real good time.”
McDowell, a 6-foot-7, 295-pound force at defensive end, already has offers from Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Oregon, Stanford and Syracuse along with Notre Dame.
“Everything was cool,” McDowell said of the visit. “It was real nice down there. I liked everything they showed me. It’s a Catholic school, very religious. Everything was pretty traditional. Everything was the same from when they started until now.”
McDowell especially appreciated meeting the Irish staff.
“The coaches were real nice,” he said. “They really focused all of their attention on me and my teammates. They were telling me that they’d love to see me up there and they’re going to try to get me up there for a game.”
McDowell plans on taking the Irish up on the offer this fall and said he could see himself ultimately landing at Notre Dame, but it’s still early and he isn’t ready to list favorites.
“There’s really no school that has a lead,” he said. “I could see myself at any school right now.”
The 6-foot-5, 270-pound Armstrong is still looking for his first offer and Notre Dame didn’t talk about a potential offer, but that was fine by him.
“We didn’t really talk about any offers and I’m glad they didn’t because I’m still looking around at other schools, so I can’t really make a decision right now,” he said.
“I’m still interested in Michigan State and Notre Dame. I want to make visits to Michigan and Illinois.”
Like McDowell, Armstrong enjoyed his visit to Notre Dame.
“Everything was good at the campus,” he said. “I really liked it, I really like that school.
“We got to visit and we got a good feel for it and everything. It’s a nice campus. Since we’re athletes, it’s easier to get around quick. It’s not a big hassle to get to your classes and football. I really liked that.”
He too enjoyed meeting with the staff.
“We got to meet all of the coaches,” he said. “I really like Coach (Chuck) Martin. He took us around the tour and gave us a good feel for the campus and I really appreciated that.”
The process is very early for Clemons, but he’s already receiving interest from the Irish and Ohio State.
“I know those two for a fact, but other than that, I’m not sure,” he said.
He was grateful for the opportunity to visit Notre Dame.
“It was a very good experience being up there and getting a view of campus,” he said. “I like the campus because it’s not that big and you can get around easy. You don’t have to spend 20 minutes to go across the campus to get to one of your classes.”
Clemons was struck by the family atmosphere within the Irish program.
“The coaches are very nice,” he said. “They all greeted us and shook our hands. Even some of the players, incoming freshmen, came up and introduced themselves.”
The coaches told Clemons they’d be keeping their eyes on him.
“They just said to keep my head up and maintain my grades.”