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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Mike Elston Delivers On The Recruiting Trail Once Again

December 24, 2019

Notre Dame went international to form its 2020 defensive line as they went from Hawaii to Colorado to Illinois to Germany. 

Alexander Ehrensberger‍’s recruitment was unique as Mike Elston had to travel to Germany to land the three-star prospect.

"It's exciting because I get to travel to all these beautiful places," Elston told Notre Dame's, Caroline Pineda. "I've been to Hawaii and then I flew over to Europe to Germany to see Alex. It's exciting for us to bring that many people together from all over the country.

"It's a testament to Notre Dame and what our campus is already about - 100 something countries and all 50 states represented. Our football team also reflects that." 

The trip to Germany was worth it as the Irish landed a raw player with an extremely high ceiling in the 6-foot-7, 240-pounder.

"It was a long flight for such a short visit to evaluate some players and came home with what I think is the best player in Europe with Alex and his family," explained Elston. "Just a remarkable young man. Very mature and has a very bright future. We're excited to get him here." 

The trip to Dusseldorf (4,172 miles) was actually shorter than the trip to Hawaii (4,318 miles) to land four-star Jordan Botelho‍. 

"Another long flight, but a great visit," said Elston. "I love visiting Hawaii. The people there are so great. The culture is amazing. There is a lot of friends on the island I can see that have been family members of Notre Dame for quite some time. The Schwenke family, Robby Toma and those guys.

"It's a great visit along with then adding another incredible young man and his family to our family. It's really special." 

Elston has truly found his groove in recent years and the defensive line room reflects it. 

However, it's not only Elston, but it's his whole family putting in the work on the recruiting trail and once the prospects arrive in South Bend. 

"It's been wonderful," Elston said. "We've been here 10 seasons and we've made a lot of great friends. When we bring young people on our campus and their families, I always try to involve my family. They're a huge part of what we do and what the kid's life is going to be like when they're on campus. I involve them the best I can and they make a huge impact on their families."

The ability to connect with prospects and their families happens at every school, but for Notre Dame, it's vital.

Notre Dame isn't an easy decision, but Elston and the rest of the staff found elite prospects who embraced the challenge in 2020. 

"We have people from all over the country," said Elston. "Some are two-parent homes. Some are single-parent homes, but we try to add people to our family that understand what Notre dame is about - Notre Dame's community. 

"It's a selective group of people that choose to come here because it's different. They feel it when they walk on campus. It's an immediate connection. The Notre Dame community,  the Notre Dame family, along with our personal families, is what makes it very special." 

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