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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Coach | 2021 Notre Dame OL Target Tristan Bounds A Mature, Talented Prospect

May 14, 2020

LJ Spinnato points to both on and off-the-field traits when the head coach at Choate Rosemary Hall is asked about Tristan Bounds‍.

“Obviously, his physical attributes,” Spinnato says of the 2021 offensive lineman who is originally from Maryland, but attends the prestigious Connecticut boarding school. “His length mixed with his athleticism is what makes him stand out on a national level.

“He’s a natural basketball player. He’s one of the top players in the New England Prep League, which is one of the top leagues in the country. That’s where his foundation comes from. So, it’s his general athleticism and he’s developing football player. This was his third year of playing football.”

And he also checks the boxes off the field, according to his coach.

“From the other side, this is a Choate Rosemary Hall student who is incredibly bright,” says Spinnato. “He’s a young man of character and has a growth mindset.

“He’s a mature kid. He has a mature sense of humor. He loves to talk and socialize. He can do that with kids his age and at the same time, he can cut it up with adults. He’s a pretty impressive kid.”

Bounds landed an offer from Notre Dame earlier this month and included the Irish along with Boston College, Maryland, Michigan, Texas, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Virginia Tech among the list of top schools he released later that day.

Spinnato agrees with the thought that Notre Dame is high on his list.

“I would say so,” the coach says.

The 6-foot-8, 275-pounder is “constantly looking to improve,” according to Spinnato.

“Obviously, the big knock on him right now is that he needs to continue to gain weight and fill in that frame,” his coach says. “He’s working hard to do that now and programs like Notre Dame would turn him into a truly high-level prospect.”

While off-campus visits are banned right now because of COVID-19 concerns, Spinnato is encouraging Bounds and his other top prospects to be prepared to make visits whenever they can.

“I’m trying to tell the kids who are in a position to do so to try to get out on their own when they can, go visit these campuses,” he says. “It might be the case that they’re going to start feeling some pressure if and when those coaches decide to apply it. I don’t think it’s wise they just commit to places they don’t know just because of pressure. I think it’s unfair for coaches to do so, but I understand it’s a business.

“Kids like Tristan and our tight end Luke Foster and a few other kids in our senior class, I’m really pushing them to hit the road with their families when they can. Try to do everything you can so you can feel good about the decisions you’re going to be making.”

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