Last season, there was no doubt that one of the major bright spots for Notre Dame was the dominance of their defensive line play behind Kapron Lewis-Moore, Sheldon Day, Louis Nix and Stephon Tuitt.
Under Irish head coach Brian Kelly, it seems the old adage that ‘bigger is better’ has become a theme for the defensive line and John Hardin (Elizabethtown, Ky.) defensive tackle Matthew Elam hopes that'll mean that Notre Dame might take a look at him soon.
“I’m very interested in Notre Dame,” admitted Elam. “They have a really great tradition there and a great football program. I also believe they have one of the best coaches in college football. “I’m hoping to hear from them because I really like what they have to offer.”
Things have quickly started to heat up for the 6-foot-6, 342-pound prospect and he's already starting to receive some big-time offers, including one from the national champion Crimson Tide.
“Recruiting has really been going well,” claimed that John Hardin standout. “I’ve received offers from Kentucky, Western Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky, Louisville and Alabama. I’ve also been getting a lot of interest from Ohio State, LSU, Cincinnati, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia and Clemson.”
While a number of the top programs in the nation are still evaluating his talents, the Kentucky product is currently doing some evaluating of his own and has already put together the criteria he'll be looking for in his collegiate choice.
“There will be a few things I’ll be looking for in a school,” he said. “It has to be a place that has a great family environment, good football program, good coaching staff and great facilities. All of these will be very important to me.”
What's also important to Elam and his teammates is finishing what they started last season when they came up just shy of playing in the state championship game by losing a heartbreaker to Bowling Green in the semi-finals, 14-13.
The talented defensive tackle plans on helping lead the Bulldogs this season, not only verbally, but by his actions also.
“Being a defensive lineman we probably do the most work with the least amount of credit, but I love it,” explained Elam. “Football is a physically sport and by being on the line of scrimmage, I get to go to battle play after play.
“I take pride in being able to help my team by doing the dirty work and stopping our opponent by any means. I will do whatever it takes for my team to be successful. ”
That determination will go towards bettering the life of his family also.
“I consider myself the type of player that’s very physical, versatile and has great pursuit to the ball,” he shared. “I live in Kentucky, in a single parent home, so I'm trying to go to college and pursue my dream of playing in the NFL. If I don't get the opportunity to go pro, I want to graduate and get a great education to help my mom out.
“My mom and God is and will always be my inspiration. “
Even though the Irish have yet to reach out to the dominant defender, he still holds out hope that they will sometime in the near future.
“If Notre Dame shows me they’re interested, I would definitely love to go see their campus and what they’ve got to offer up there. They're a great school and I would be honored to be considered by them.”