Alex Anzalone has had a busy week.
Last Thursday, the 2013 Notre Dame linebacker commit hosted Irish head coach Brian Kelly, defensive coordinator Bob Diaco and offensive coordinator Chuck Martin at his house in Wyomissing, Pa.
“It was cool to have them in my house and to let them see where I live and the community I live in,” said Anzalone. “We had fun and shared a bunch of laughs. It was just a good time that I will always remember.”
On Saturday, Anzalone and his Wyomissing Area High School teammates accomplished their ultimate goal, winning the Class AA State Championship with a 17-14 victory over Aliquippa.
“I don’t think it’s hit most of us yet,” he said. “It’s a huge deal for a lot of the alumni and the community. I think we’ll probably comprehend it a little bit more down the line. Right now, it’s like we’re on cloud-nine. It’s pretty cool.”
On Tuesday, he earned his driver’s license.
On Wednesday, he was named to the Pennsylvania Class AA All-State Team and also picked up Class AA Player of the Year honors. And then on Thursday, he was named Student of the Month by the Wyomissing Rotary Club.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder appreciates all of the honors that have come his way, but it was the team goal of grabbing the state title that stands out the most.
Anzalone brushed off a fumbled handoff and a muffed punt early in the game to help lead his team to the tight victory.
“I just kept myself composed,” he said. “After the punt, I really just thought to myself, there’s no point in getting upset over it and letting it affect my game. I just stuck with it and played hard. I knew it was going to be my last game, so there was no reason to let it affect my game.”
Cornerback Devin Butler made the drive up from Washington, D.C., to support his fellow Notre Dame commit.
“That was awesome,” Anzalone said. “I was texting him on the way up and he was giving me a couple motivational texts. After the game, I talked with him and his parents. They seemed like they had a good time. It was cool to have them there. They had a lot of fun.”
Butler’s journey illustrates the bond within Notre Dame’s 2013 recruiting class. James Onwualu was even thinking of flying in from Minnesota for the game.
“We’re just all really close and that just shows what kind of group we have going in and what kind of bond we have,” said Anzalone. “It should help us so much when we get there and deal with adversity on and off the field, just having each other’s backs.”
At the end of the month, Anzalone will head down to Florida to prepare to play in the Under Armour All-American Game.
“People have said it’s the most fun week of their life, so I’m pretty excited for that,” he said.
And a week after that, he’ll enroll early at Notre Dame.
“It’s definitely mixed emotions, bittersweet,” he said.
“A lot of people are going to miss me and I’m going to miss a lot of my friends. It’s worth it. I think for me it’s time to move on to college because I feel like I’ve had enough of high school after winning the state championship, to be honest. I’m ready for it.”
But first comes Friday, Anzalone’s last day of high school.
Not a bad final week.