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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Blake Fisher and Rocco Spindler Forming Special Brotherhood

April 15, 2020

Those who follow college football recruiting have heard of Blake Fisher‍ and Rocco Spindler‍ as they are two of the best offensive linemen in the 2021 class. 

But did you know they first met an Ohio State camp as freshmen? 

Spindler remembers he was caught off guard seeing a player bigger than him at that age and a few years later, Fisher is one of his best friends. 
"My freshman year, I really hadn't established my recruitment and I had two offers from Michigan and Michigan State," Spindler stated. "We were at Ohio State for a huge camp with like 1,200 kids. 

"They separated all the prospects from the kids who were there just to do the camp. Blake and I were in the same linemen line. It was funny because we didn't know each other and he was right behind me in line. We were going back and forth, saying, 'Why are we doing this?'

"It was so hard, but we were both giggling and laughing. Then a thunderstorm came rolling in and we had to postpone the camp. We went into the fieldhouse and we sat next to each other. We were dead tired and passed out thinking it wasn't a good day. It was a fun day looking back at it." 

The two didn't talk much over the next few years until last June when Fisher committed to the Fighting Irish. 

The two became instantly closer as they conduct themselves in the same manner. 

"I like it because we have the same personality," explained Spindler. "On the field, it's a little bit different. I get into a 'Let's get this done and go kill some guys' mindset. I know he's got the same personality as well." 

Fisher is known for his dominating pancakes, but also how much he cares about recruiting. However, don't think the conversations between the two are just about football. 

"It's good because we don't really talk about football as much even though he's recruiting the hell out of me to come to Notre Dame," said Spindler. "If we push that aside, we're always cracking up laughing or making fun of you or Tom (Loy). That's the thing I like because it's establishing a brotherhood. He's a good dude and a hell of a ballplayer." 

The brotherhood is something Notre Dame's offensive line takes a great deal of pride in as you'll rarely see one lineman by himself.

Spindler got to pick the brain of a former Notre Dame lineman and learned more about the brotherhood in South Bend.

"It's a huge difference-maker," Spindler said of Notre Dame's brotherhood. "I got off the phone with Quenton Nelson the other day and asked him why he went to Notre Dame and if he would do anything differently. 

"He said he wouldn't have done anything differently and it was the right choice at the right time. He said he hadn't been back for a while, but the tradition of the brotherhood between the linemen was unbeatable at any other school. Zack Martin, (Chris) Watt and others had set the tone for him as a freshman. 

"He was a highly rated prospect coming in and thought they were going to be jerks to him. At practice, they beat him up, but they picked him up and tried to develop him for the following year. He said they pushed him, but they knew how to give love too. He told me the tradition at Notre Dame was having great guys and it's been passed down through each class. "He explained how you're going to battle with those guys all the time and they'll have your back against some tough opponents." 

Spindler has spoken to some of the top coaches and recruits in the country, but the chance to give Nelson a call is something he won't soon forget.

"It was crazy," laughed Spindler. "In the first two minutes, I was just cheesing because he's my favorite NFL player. I told him a looked up to him and was like a little kid. Two minutes later, we got into the real talk and he's a cool dude. He's quiet, but at the same time, he has a great personality." 

Will the relationships Spindler has make a difference in his recruitment? He's close with several, but his friendship with Fisher could bode well for the Irish as it's different than the others.

"I'm close with JJ McCarthy and Giovanni El-Hadi," stated Spindler. "I'm close with Landon Tengwall. It's just different with Blake. We're both linemen and he's recruiting him me hard. We've known each other for almost four years now."

One way recruits across the nation get to know each other is through video games. Fisher and Spindler are no different as they've been teaming up with 2021 running back Will Shipley‍ and 2021 offensive lineman Pat Coogan‍. 

Is Fisher as good of a Fortnite player as he makes himself out to be? Spindler has the answer. 

"Listen," Spindler laughed. "He does really well during the game when we first start off. I might get down a couple times and he'll revive us. He'll end up with like six kills, but when it comes down to it, I'm the clutch player. I won't do that well during the whole game, but when it comes down to five people left, I'll kill those guys. 

"Blake won't admit it because he knows it's true. Don't get me wrong, Blake is a good player even though he camps in a bush." 

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