Notre Dame's 2014 recruiting class got a major boost on Friday afternoon as Tennessee offensive lineman Alex Bars announced his commitment to the Irish over Twitter.
"@Alex_Bars70 I have officially committed to The University of Notre Dame! #playlikeachampiontoday"
The 6-foot-6, 290-pounder from MBA Academy in Nashville is the 10th verbal pledge for the Irish in the Class of 2014 and fourth offensive lineman, joining Jimmy Byrne, Sam Mustipher and Quenton Nelson.
“I’ve been thinking hard about it for about a month,” Bars told Irish Sports Daily. “I knew that was my dream school and that’s where I want to go. My parents made me wait a week, so today was the day.
“Just everything about it; the academics with the great program and the coaching staff and of course the tradition. It’s top-notch. You can’t beat it.”
Bars is the son of former Notre Dame player Joe Bars and chose the Irish over offers from schools like Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Penn State, Tennessee, LSU, Ohio State and Stanford among several others. His dad was especially excited.
“I really appreciated him not pressuring me at all,” said Bars. “I think he’s happy with it.”
He has brothers who play at Michigan and Penn State, but they didn't apply much pressure either and were also happy with his choice.
“Of course my brothers wanted me to go to their schools, but in the end, they were pretty happy about it,” he said.
Bars hasn't heard from Byrne, Mustipher or Nelson since he made the announcement, but is happy to be joining the group.
“I know they’re great guys,” he said. “They’re just like me and it says something about the character and type of player that goes to Notre Dame.”
He did have the opportunity to speak with Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly, offensive coordinator Chuck Martin and offensive line coach Harry Hiestand.
“They were really excited,” said Bars. “I talked to Coach Hiestand, Coach Martin and Coach Kelly and they were all really happy for me and can’t wait to get me up there again.”
Bars is hoping to make an impact when he gets to South Bend.
“Hopefully I can make them better on and off the field and represent the school well when I’m there.”