Over the past few seasons, the Irish have definitely shown that they're not afraid to recruit down in the Southwest and have already drawn some of the top players from around Nevada and Arizona to venture to South Bend. Players like offensive lineman Ronnie Stanley and electrifying athlete Davonte Neal are already on the Irish roster and in the 2013 recruiting class, the Irish added talented defensive back Cole Luke to the mix also.
The infusion of such talent will definitely help the Irish in their goal of pursuing a BCS championship on a yearly basis and they're looking to add more Southwest flavor to the program in 2014. Notre Dame has already targeted wide receiver Mark Andrews, running back Nathan Starks, offensive lineman Casey Tucker, defensive tackle Natrell Curtis and hoping to add his name to that list is Sabino (Tucson, Ariz.) offensive lineman Andrew Mike.
The 6-foot-7, 280-pound lineman has already set plans to visit South Bend soon and hopes to make a big impression on Brian Kelly and his staff.
“I'll be coming up to Notre Dame this spring with the rest of my team,” said Mike excitingly. “My team will be playing in their 7-on-7 competition and I will be participating in their big man camp. We're definitely pumped to get up there and we just recently had a fundraiser to help with the cost of getting there. I'm really excited to go.
“I think I would describe myself as aggressive, but still cool-headed enough to do my job with the technique and skill required. I'm looking forward to showing Notre Dame what I can do and hopefully get an offer.”
Some of the top programs in the nation have already witnessed the dominant Arizona product in action and the offers already started to roll in.
“Recruiting's been going good, but I'm just taking it slow and weighing all my options to see which school fits me the best,” he shared. “Currently, I have eight offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Northern Arizona, Utah, BYU, California, Washington and Penn State.
“Recently, I've also been talking to a few other schools like Notre Dame, Michigan, a couple of SEC schools, Florida State, Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt.”
The Sabino standout feels blessed to already have so many great offers and he plans on doing his homework before deciding which university fits him best, both as a person and a student-athlete.
“The school I choose will definitely have to have high academics,” claimed the talented junior. “This year I'm enrolled in three AP classes and, as you can see, I like to push myself both on and off the field. The school I choose will have to have a high reputation of academics and have a team I would be proud to play for and work towards that championship.”
That criteria would definitely favor a university like Notre Dame and Mike hopes he'll be able to earn their respect once he camps there because he really likes where the program is heading and would love that to be one of his options.
“I was definitely impressed with their season this year,” he admitted. “They got to play in the national championship game and I'm sure that's a big goal that they reached. I love their blend of great academics and a proud tradition in sports. I also like the overall feeling you get when you watch one of their games.
“Pretty much all I've received from Notre Dame so far has been just mail, but I'm looking forward to building a relationship with them once I get up there.”