Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Decision Day | Rocco Spindler

August 8, 2020

It's finally here.

2021 Clarkston (Mich.) offensive lineman Rocco Spindler‍ will make his commitment at 6pm tonight at his high school live on CBS HQ. 

Here's everything you need to know about the four-star prospect.

Top Five
LSU - Offered April 30, 2019
Michigan - Offered March 25, 2018
Notre Dame - Offered September 30, 2018
Ohio State - Offered June 9, 2018
Penn State - Offered November 8, 2018

Spindler’s top five is likely a top two as Michigan and Notre Dame are the favorites heading into this evening’s decision. It’s not a shocker as both programs offer similar opportunities on and off the field.

The Biggest Factors
There’s a long list of deciding factors, but over the last few months, it’s become more clear on what the most significant factors will be and it’s not a surprise that Michigan and Notre Dame offer many of them. 

Offensive Line Coach: In talking to recruits over the years, Ed Warinner and Jeff Quinn have their quirks, but both command the respect of their players and recruits across the country. In Spindler’s case, he might understand more than most that your position coach is important as that is who he’ll be spending the most time with during his career. 

However, Spindler isn’t looking for someone to baby him while in college. The Michigan native wants a coach that will demand effort and push him past his limits on the field. Spindler comes from a family of hard work and wants his coach to hold him to that standard. 

Relationships: While Spindler his offensive line coach to demand more out of him, the Clarkston star also wants to have meaningful relationships with those in the program. He’s a simple kid, but one who has done his research on the incoming classes and the coaching staffs.

Both Michigan and Notre Dame are knocked it out of the park from the head coach to the commits. Spindler has stayed engaged with commits from both schools for months and the two programs have two of the best recruiters. Michigan quarterback commit JJ McCarthy and Notre Dame offensive line commit Blake Fisher have been very vocal on the recruiting trail and have done more than most when it comes to building their respective recruiting classes. 

Location: This one isn’t talked about as much, but I think it’s an important factor here. Clarkston is 54 minutes from Ann Arbor and about 3.5 hours from South Bend. Easy trips to both schools and a key factor for a very close family. 

I think that’s the primary reason a school like LSU wasn’t the ideal fit for Spindler as that’s too far. When you look at Michigan and Notre Dame, it will come down to if Spindler wants to be a little further from home and have a chance to get out of the area. 

Comfort: As always, Spindler’s recruitment will come down to where he feels the most comfortable at the end of the day. It’s not a situation where he has to make a commitment to take a spot in a class as both schools were prepared to wait it out. 

The glitz and glamour of recruiting isn’t something that is going to sway this one. Spindler has been more focused on strength and conditioning or the day to day life of a student-athlete. The three factors above are all pieces to the puzzle when it comes to being comfortable at his future home. 

The fact he wasn’t able to take official visits made this part more challenging. Spindler wasn’t able to hang out with the offensive lines at his final five programs or even take in the social scene. He had to do his own research and gain a feel on his own without experiencing it for himself. 

"I definitely want to hang out with the team and the offensive linemen to get to know them," said Spindler in June. "I want to get to know the weight lifting coach, nutritionist and academic advisors. I want to see the dorm rooms and see the campus itself. Sometimes it's challenging to see all of that in one visit."

Quote on Decision
"I'm not basing my decision on just football. I'm focused on academics and athletics. I'm looking at who I have the best relationships with when it comes to coaches and commits. 

"I'm looking at the networking opportunities I'm going to get from each school. I want to win a National Championship and I want to find a place I can be developed to get to the NFL. Who is going to take care of me after my time is done playing football? That's really what I'm looking at right now." 

I made my prediction for Spindler to end up at Notre Dame on January 27, 2020. I’ve looked high and low for reasons to change it since then, but I haven’t stumbled on any information to make me flip it where others have flipped a few times over his recruitment. 

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