Daniel Helm wasn’t completely sure Notre Dame would have room for him at this weekend’s Junior Day until the 2014 Illinois tight end spoke with Irish tight ends coach Scott Booker on Tuesday night.
“He set it all up for me and it looks like Saturday is going to work,” the 6-foot-4, 215-pounder from Glenwood High School in Chatham, Ill., said. “I’m excited about it.”
Helm met with Irish offensive coordinator Chuck Martin and Booker during a quick stop at Notre Dame last month on his way home from an unofficial visit to Michigan.
“Last time I went there, I went for about an hour and a half,” he said. “Coach Martin took us around the offices and workout facilities at the Gug. He took us around that and where the players meet, the locker room and that was about the extent of it. Hopefully it’ll be a little more in-depth with everything.
“I want a more in-depth look. I really want to see them coach, see everything there with the practice and maybe checking out some academic stuff, but coaching is really what I want to see.”
While his mother was talking with Martin during the previous trip, Helm had the opportunity to speak with Booker.
“He told me about himself and what they’re looking for and what they see in me,” said Helm. “I feel like I have a fairly decent relationship with him at the moment. I like him a lot. He seems like a good guy and seems like a guy I’d definitely be willing to play for.”
Helm already has double-digit offers from Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana and North Carolina State. An offer from the Irish could come at some point, but it isn’t exactly clear when.
“When I talked to Coach Martin over the phone a couple weeks ago, he said they’ve offered five or six tight ends and he said that I’m basically in that next group, kind of on the cusp,” Helm recalled. “He expects me to get one, but he’s not sure when the timetable would be and he said something about an in-person evaluation.”
Even with several other BCS offers in hand, Helm has an eye on Notre Dame.
“I definitely am interested,” he said. “They throw to the tight end a whole lot, they’re not very far from home. They have great academics and a great tradition, so I’m definitely interested.”
And if the Irish do come through with an offer, they’ll be in the mix.
“Yeah, they would,” he said. “I’d consider them very heavily.”
Helm has a few schools sticking out, but isn’t eliminating anybody at this point.
“I really like Michigan, Tennessee and Ole Miss,” he said. “Those are the ones I’d say I like the most at the moment, but things can change. I’m finally able to go out on visits a little, so I that could change before the end of the spring and summer.”
He’s looking at trips to Florida, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Ohio State and Michigan in the next few weeks.