Mike Elston’s travels during the May Evaluation Period brought the Notre Dame assistant to Carrboro High School in Carrboro, N.C., last week to check on 2015 running back Trai Sharp.
“They were just investigating stuff,” Carrboro head coach Jason Tudryn said of the Irish. “They wanted to see what his grades are like, making sure they’ve got tape, making sure they find out a little bit more about him and our program.
“They were just kicking off the relationship and seeing where it could go.”
The 5-foot-9, 185-pound Sharp already holds offers from North Carolina State and Purdue. He’s seen an increase in interest of late and Michigan also swung by this month.
“We’re a new school, so it was the first time top-level, tradition-rich BCS programs have come through our school,” said Tudryn. “It’s exciting for him, it’s exciting for his family and it’s exciting for our program. To have those schools come in back-to-back on two different days is pretty impressive, especially with the amount of success Notre Dame had last year.
“Kids are a ‘right now’-type of business. Everything is immediate and they don’t really understand the tradition of both of those programs. I had to kind of point out to him how special both places are. I’ve visited both places and both are magical places.”
Sharp made a name for himself on the field these past two seasons, but according to his coach, it’s who he is away from the field that stands out most.
“It’s more about who he is as a person to be honest with you,” said Tudryn. “He had over 3,200 yards total offense last year and 38 touchdowns and helped us get into the state championship game. His humility and his work ethic are what have really impressed so many people. He’s going to turn 16 at the end of this month. For someone so young to have the maturity and wisdom is pretty impressive. I think that’s what’s drawing people.
“From a football side of it, when you turn the film on, he’s electric. He’s that quick, jitterbug guy who can get in open space and do some magical things with the football. He’s a physically strong kid and he’s exciting to watch.”
Sharp clocked a legit 4.5 in the 40-yard dash at North Carolina’s one-day camp last summer.
“When Trai gets the football in open space, he’s extremely fast,” his coach said. “He can move when he gets the football.”
He may appear slight, but he’s very well-built, according to Tudryn.
“He’s a rocked-up, strong, solid, low-body fat type of kid,” he said. “He’s really had an outstanding offseason for us in the weight room.”
Sharp and Tudryn are going to continue hosting college coaches throughout the month and then sit down and try to map out some schools to visit this summer. South Bend could very likely end up on the itinerary.
“It’s tentative that we’re going to head up to Purdue. Obviously, if we’re in Purdue’s neighborhood, we’ll be able to head up to Notre Dame and Ann Arbor and see where it takes us from there.”