Orlando, Fla., 2013 linebacker Ryne Rankin made the trip to South Bend on June 23rd to participate in Notre Dame's football camp and left with a new appreciation for the Irish program in whole.
“This was my first trip up to Notre Dame,” he said. “The only thing that I really knew about Notre Dame was from the movie Rudy, but now that I've been up there, it seems like they have a lot of tradition and are very historical.
“Overall, it was a really good experience and I liked it a lot. The campus was really nice, the facilities were really nice and the atmosphere was nice. The coaches were also really cool and my father played at Cincinnati so he knows Brian Kelly and Tim Hinton.
“It was just a great experience.”
The 6-foot-1, 219-pound linebacker has already had a hand in helping build tradition at East River High School and his play on the gridiron is already attracting the attention of some big-time recruiters.
“Last year was only our second year as a football program,” said the talented sophomore. “The first year we were 1-9, but then last year we flipped it around and finished 8-2 and lost in first round of the playoffs. I finished the season with 122 tackles, 88 were solo, two interceptions, seven sacks and four forced fumbles.
“I haven't received any offers yet because a number of schools are waiting until September 1st of my junior year, but some of the schools that are showing me a lot of attention right now are Cincinnati, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, South Carolina and Notre Dame.”
With a good showing at camp, which included a 4.61 40-time, Rankin was able to find out just what the Irish thought about him and his performance.
“I got a chance to talk to the coaches after camp,” said the East River star. “They pretty much told me to keep doing what I'm doing and that they're going to keep looking at me in the recruiting process. They said they really liked me and Tim Hinton is going to be my recruiting coach.”
Even though it's still early for him, the sophomore already knows what he'll be looking for in a college destination.
“Pretty much I will be looking for atmosphere,” claimed Rankin. “I mean you're going to be somewhere for four-plus years and you want to be somewhere you're going to be comfortable with. You definitely don't want to be someplace you don't like. It's still early, so we'll see what happens.”