Nic Weishar had seen enough of Notre Dame during the daytime. After experiencing numerous one-day events on campus the 2014 tight end prospect finally got the chance to see a side of the program he’d never observed before last weekend.
“That’s what I really wanted to do,” Weishar said about the overnight visit. “I just wanted to be able to spend as much time with the players and see what kind of kids they are and if they’re the type I can fit in the locker room with. Doing the overnight I saw that they’re really great kids and fun to be around. It was a great experience to be able to do that.”
“They take you to training table and you hang out,” he continued. “Then you go to sleep and wake up early to go to practice - so you get the whole deal of what it’s like to be a student-athlete.”
Taking the 6-foot-5, 225-pounder under his wing for the two-day visit was an early enrollee who also happened to be another tight end.
“I was with Mike Heuerman,” Weishar explained. “He was a great kid as well and a great player too - I actually read up on him a little bit before my visit. He was a lot of fun to be around and spend time with.”
The Midlothian, Ill. product had been told by Irish offensive coordinator Chuck Martin that all the players were fun to be around, but he discovered they were much more than that.
“Before I did the overnight Coach Martin was telling me how great the kids are at Notre Dame,” Weishar stated of his expectations going into the weekend. “I got a little bit of a feel of what type of kids they are from him, but the best part was being able to spend time with them and realizing that they are good kids. They’re kids just like me who come from places like I come from and love the game of football.”
Not only did the Marist High School star find the players impressive, but head coach Brian Kelly left him with a good impression as well.
“That was the first time I really got to spend a lot of time with him,” Weishar said of Kelly. “It was pretty awesome that he came over during a practice to talk to (fellow recruit) Ian Bunting and I for about 20 minutes. The whole experience was pretty cool and he was talking about the practice schedule and that kind of stuff.”
“Later that day we got to sit down with him after he gave us a tour of the football complex,” he continued. “My mom, dad, and I got to talk to him as a family for a long, long time - which was great.”
After getting to know Kelly for what turned out to be a decent amount to time, Weishar believes he could definitely spend four years with him on the next level.
“Absolutely,” Weishar explained about the possibility of whether or not he could play for Kelly. “Everywhere he goes he wins and that’s a pretty good track record to have. He’s definitely a winner and when I got to sit down with him and learn about him a little more, everything he stands for is what I’m looking for. I could definitely see myself playing for him.”
Part of the tour for Weishar included attending a practice on Saturday morning and he was impressed with the speed and instruction that was taking place.
“I thought the pace of practice was very high and up-tempo,” Weishar stated. “Coach Martin told me that’s what they like to do - keep the kids moving all the time. I like the way the coaches interacted with the players and I spent a lot of time watching Coach Booker with the tight ends. I liked how he was coaching - watching the whole team practice explains why they had such a good year last year.”
He brought his parents along on the trip to South Bend and although they have been there several times before, the reputation and folklore of the Irish never gets old.
“They loved it as always,” Weishar said of how his parents enjoyed the visit. “We’ve been out there a couple of times and I think each time it gets better and better. There’s definitely something about Notre Dame - just being on the campus you get to feel the tradition and I think my parents felt it too. It’s really cool to see every time you go up there.”
It’s clear the overnight visit improved Notre Dame’s chances of landing Weishar, but the race still seems to be fairly even as he’s as coy as usual when it comes to tipping his hat in any direction.
“I definitely think my opinion is more favorable,” Weishar explained of how he feels about the Irish after his visit. “That was my third overnight - I did one at Northwestern and Michigan as well. On all three trips I learned a lot more and it definitely enhanced my opinion on all three of those schools.”
Even with his even-keeled emotion about which school he may or may not favor, he has set a deadline as to when he’ll announce his decision and it’s much earlier than was originally planned.
“I’ve always said I don’t really have a set timeline on making a decision,” Weishar stated. “But I’ll probably start narrowing the schools down pretty soon though and although I have no idea where I’m going to go just yet, I’ve decided to most likely make my decision before my senior season starts.”