Matt Ryan made the trip out to South Bend this past weekend for the first time and the 2015 New York forward is glad he did.
“Everything was great,” the 6-foot-5, 185-pounder from Iona Prep School in New Rochelle, N.Y., said. “It was a great experience.”
Ryan arrived on Friday and watched the Irish work out on the court before getting to spend time with Irish head coach Mike Brey and assistant Martin Ingelsby.
“I wasn’t allowed to play, but I got to see practice,” said Ryan. “After that, I went out to dinner with Coach Brey and Coach Ingelsby. They were just saying thanks for coming out and saying how much they want to coach me. They thanked my dad and me for coming all of the way out to visit the school.”
Ryan enjoyed the opportunity to visit with the Irish coaches.
“They were great,” he said. “That was the first time I got to talk with Coach Brey in person. We’ve been talking on the phone for the past couple months, so it was great to sit down and talk with him and see what he was like in person. I was very impressed.”
While he couldn’t get on the court with the Irish on Friday, he was able to get out there on Saturday.
“Friday was a set practice, so I couldn’t play,” he explained. “But on Saturday at noon, I went to play pickup with the guys on the court. That was very good, really good.”
Ryan got a peek at how he’d fit with the Irish on the court.
“I think I’d definitely fit in,” he said. “The way they play definitely fits how I play and I think I could fit into their system really well.”
He also believes he’d be a fit with the Irish players off the court.
“Without a doubt,” he said.
In addition to the Irish coaches, Ryan was joined by a couple players on Friday night, including current freshman Steve Vasturia and sophomore Austin Burgett.
“On Friday night, I got to hang out with those guys on campus and see what campus life was like,” Ryan said. “It was really good. There were a lot of things going on during the night. I got to see a lot of different buildings, see the dorms and a couple of places where they eat, so it was great.”
After playing hoops on Saturday, Ryan had the chance to head to Notre Dame Stadium and see the Irish beat Michigan State.
“The football game was amazing,” he said. “The atmosphere was unbelievable. I got to go on the field before the game started with a couple of the coaches, which was great. I sat with the fans during the game and it was an awesome experience.”
Ryan isn’t sure about a potential return visit, but the trip definitely made an impression.
“It’s a pretty long trip,” he said. “I don’t know if I’ll be getting back anytime soon, but it was definitely worth the trip. Notre Dame is right at the top of my list.”
Ryan already has more than 25 offers from schools like Notre Dame, Clemson, West Virginia, Vanderbilt, Providence, Rhode Island and Boston College. He isn’t narrowing his list anytime soon, but the Irish definitely seem to be secured among his favorites.
“I’m not going to be committing anytime soon, but they’re in my top five. I definitely love what they have to offer and I’m going to stay in touch with the coaches all of the time.”