Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Impromptu Meeting With Brian Kelly Has Rocco Spindler Fired Up About Notre Dame

January 4, 2020

ORLANDO – The atmosphere during Rocco Spindler’s most-recent visit to Notre Dame, for the USC game back in October, elevated the Irish in the mind of the 2021 Michigan offensive lineman.

“The only place I’ve ever seen that at was Ohio State, how electric they were and what they do with the fans, the push-ups and everything,” Spindler said earlier this week during check-in for the Future 50 event down here.

“It’s insane. I can’t even explain it. Everything they do for their players.”

But the atmosphere in the student section was no match for Spindler’s one-on-one meeting with Notre Dame head coach about 45 minutes before kickoff.

“I hadn’t had a chance to talk to him yet,” Spindler recalled. “He pulled me aside. We actually went into like a broom closet, not an office, like a broom closet. We talked for say a half-hour, so he only had like 15 minutes to get on the field and everything.

“He’s not the same in the press conferences and on the field. He was electric, he was fired up. He was all jacked up on Mountain Dew or something. I was like, ‘Man, you’re totally different. This is awesome.’ Seeing how Coach is different off the field talking to people, but when he’s gritting down, it’s something special.”

Spindler, who is also seriously considering schools like Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State among others, is looking forward to continuing the process with the Irish.

“I’m still trying to get a feel on everything and building relationships with everybody,” he said. “For sure they’ll be in my top five, top picks. I’ve just got to take my official visits, I’ve got to take all five and really enjoy the rest of the process.”

Irish offensive line coach Jeff Quinn has made a strong impression.

“He’s one of the best offensive line coaches in college football,” said Spindler. “He’s definitely personable and loves the family and brotherhood aspect of everything.”

Meanwhile one of Notre Dame’s early 2021 commits has been doing his best to help Spindler get a feel for the Irish over the last couple months, pitching him on the idea of forming a “Big Three” with him and Maryland’s Landon Tengwall.

“Blake Fisher is really trying to put me and (Tengwall) together to go play at Notre Dame,” Spindler explained. “After seeing that picture of us three, that could be something that could work out. We all love Notre Dame.”

But Spindler has several other friends among top prospects, including 2021 Michigan offensive line commit Giovanni El-Hadi.

“He’s a great guy,” said Spindler, adding that El-Hadi was actually eating with Spindler’s family at the time. “I can definitely see that brotherhood feel. He’s a family guy, he’s got a huge family.”

Greg Mattison was trying to convince Spindler to go to Michigan instead of Ohio State when he was in Ann Arbor and is trying to convince him to do the opposite now that he’s with the Buckeyes.

Spindler said he has an “awesome relationship” with Mattison and gave the coach a call when he learned he was changing sides of the rivalry last year.

“I said, ‘I don’t think I can go to Ohio State now because you said to go to Michigan,’” Spindler recalled. “I busted his chops a lot. He’s a great coach and everything. The transition of him going over to Ohio State wasn’t that big of a deal for me.”

Spindler hopes to have a decision this spring, possibly in May.

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