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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Recruiting Week In Review

June 14, 2020

Written by Joe Bradshaw

One of the difficulties of writing a weekly rundown on Notre Dame recruiting is that the same names seem to pop up. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because it means that the Irish coaches are putting in the work and really staying close to these prospects. Still, always trying to find an angle to make the review interesting isn’t always the easiest thing when it involves the same players. And while Christian, Matt, Jamie and all of the ISD staff do great jobs of providing up to date information on the recruits, there’s still only so many recruits, especially as more and more commit.

This recruiting season has not only been unique because of the limitations placed on it by COVID-19, but also because there’s seemed to be so many more new names emerging than previously. That may just be my impression or it may be that because of the absence of spring practice, freshmen reporting in June and all the other virus-caused changes, the coaches have had more time to devote to evaluations and recruiting. And, maybe I’m just getting old and not remembering things as well as I used to. It happens.

Last week, Irish Sports Daily reported on two prospects, one in the Class of 2021 and the other in the Class of 2022 that have recently received scholarship offers to play football at the University of Notre Dame. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Sports Daily?

Erik Olsen‍, TE, 6-5, 235, Heritage High School, Littleton, CO trimmed his list of possible schools to ten in April and was nearly ready to trim that list to five. Then Notre Dame offered and the Colorado native decided to take a step back and consider taking more time.

“Today they said they wanted to get on a Zoom call and that’s when they did it,” said Olsen of the Irish extending him an offer on June 3rd. “They think I’m one of the most versatile tight ends. They said they could use me in a lot of ways and at Notre Dame, there’s no doubt about that.”

Olsen continued.

“I wasn’t expecting to get any more offers at this point but it was definitely exciting with their history of tight ends and having the opportunity to go there and maybe continue that legacy.”

The fairly recent addition of Tight Ends Coach John McNulty to the Notre Dame coaching staff may explain the late offer. Whether that’s true or not, it’s clear that McNulty has Olsen’s ear.

“He seems like a really great guy, really down to earth,” Olsen said. “Obviously, he’s really interested in football and seems to be loving the tight end group right now, so I’m excited to learn more about him and build a relationship with him through the recruiting process.”

Before the Notre Dame offer, Olsen’s top ten consisted of Utah, Iowa State, UCLA, Nebraska, Arizona State, Washington, Stanford, Cal, Kansas State and Colorado. As mentioned previously, he’s re-thinking the cut to five and his original timetable.

“I was going to come out with a top five pretty soon, I’m not really sure when exactly, but I want to take my time and consider all of these schools and not rush a decision and end up regretting it down the road,” he explained.

Olsen also planned to commit prior to the beginning of his final season but has changed that plan as well.

“I’m definitely going to have to push that back,” he shared. “I want to visit all of the schools I’m looking at right now to be sure whether or not I see myself going there. I for sure don’t want to commit somewhere I’ve never visited.”

Olsen knows his priorities in choosing the school to which he finally commits.

“Just the environment of the school like fan attendance, the mindset of the team and the coaching staff I’m going to be around every day. Those are probably the most important things to me.”

The Class of 2022 defensive tackle Kaleb Artis‍ has much longer to finalize his decision for where he will be playing college football. Still, like Olsen, he’s also still receiving scholarship offers that are forcing him to consider new options. Artis, DE, 6-5, 265, St. Francis Preparatory School, Fresh Meadows, NY recently got a message from his head coach Rich Carroll that Notre Dame coaches John McNulty and Offensive Line Coach Jeff Quinn wanted him to call them. Carroll did not know why they wanted his star defensive tackle to give them a call.

“He didn’t know they were going to offer me,” said Artis of his head coach. “Me and Coach Quinn spoke by ourselves for a long time. We had a good conversation and then he added Coach (Mike) Elston to the call. After that Coach Elston told me that he was offering me. It was dope.”

Notre Dame joined Rutgers, Syracuse, Boston College, Nebraska, Tennessee and West Virginia in officially vying for the services of the three-star Artis and Artis isn’t taking any of the offers for granted.

“Every offer I get is very exciting because hard work and dedication allow you to do something you always dreamed of and have it become a reality later on in life,” he explained. “A school like Notre Dame is also a very hard school to get. It’s hard to get into schools like that, especially to get offers from schools like that with the academic system they have and the organization with the football team they have as well.”

Artis plans to remain in contact with Notre Dame moving forward and seemed to bond with Quinn and his position coach Elston.

“It seemed like we clicked,” he said of Quinn. “He asked about my family and stuff which is great.”

He also described his conversation with Elston as “great.”

“He spoke about me and how he likes the way I play, my style,” the New York standout recalled. “After he spoke with me I’m pretty sure he liked my personality because what’s not to like about my personality? I try to be the most down to earth person I can be and just tell everything I feel. The energy between me and him was there which is key between a player and a coach.”

Elston explained to Artis how he envisioned using him at Notre Dame.

“He said he could see me at various spots along the line; three technique on first and second down and on third down if he needs me to go get that three and out, I could get back to the five technique because defensive end is my spot,” Artis said. “I could go back over there and wreak havoc.

Artis enjoyed his phone conversation with Elston but for him the key will be the face to face interaction.

“You want to make sure it’s there in person as well,” he explained. “My goal is that we get to see each other because the in-person, the face to face is what it’s all about.”

University visits will play a large role in Artis’s final decision.

“Number one to that is how you feel around the coaches who you’re going to be around; the strength and conditioning coach and your position coach,” he said. “You’re going to be around them a lot for the next three to four years of your life. You want to feel like you’re literally at home and you have somebody in all four corners, or however many corners you have, no matter when or where or what it’s about, you want to know you have the support.”

Artis’s ultimate goal is to suit up on Sunday in the NFL. He knows, that’s also the goal of most Power Five prospects.

“We all can’t make it so you want to go with the best of the best coaches and the one you have the most trust in to get you to the next level, especially me, I want to be a high pick,” he explained.

Artis also understands the importance of strong academics.

“That’s what I look at with any college I go to.”

These two summaries represent just a sample of the Notre Dame football recruiting information available each on Irish Sports Daily.

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